Trade, Defence, Disarmament talks w Japan, S Korea
Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade, Defence and Disarmament and Arms Control
20 October 2006
Trade, Defence and Disarmament on Goff's Agenda for Japan and South Korea
Trade, Defence and Disarmament Minister Phil Goff travels to Japan and South Korea today to discuss a range of issues spanning his portfolio responsibilities.
Mr Goff will begin his visit to Japan by unveiling the sculpture 'Cloak of Peace' at the Nagasaki Peace Park and speaking at the opening ceremony of the Global Citizens Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
"Given recent developments in North Korea it is most appropriate that I will begin my visit to the region in Nagasaki where I will unveil the sculpture created by Kingsley Baird as a gift from the New Zealand people", said Mr Goff
"The sculpture and my speech to the Citizens Assembly will serve to highlight and reinforce New Zealand's strong anti-nuclear stance and our support for Japan in the face of the recent North Korean nuclear test.
"In Tokyo I will meet with my Japanese ministerial counterparts to discuss a range of bilateral and regional trade, defence and disarmament related matters. These will be my first meetings with members of the new Japanese cabinet, appointed after the election of Prime Minister Abe, last month.
"Japan is New Zealand's third largest export market taking $3.3billion of our exports in the last year. Trade will be a key item on my agenda. I will be discussing with Japanese ministers how we might best develop and strengthen our bilateral trading relationship as well as how to progress regional and multilateral trade liberalisation.
"The visit to Korea is very timely in the light of North Korea's recent nuclear test and the appointment of South Korean Ban Ki-Moon as Secretary General of the United Nations.
"South Korea is currently our seventh largest trading partner with trade worth $2 billion annually. Discussions with my Korean colleagues are part of the ongoing efforts to build and develop closer economic and defence relations between New Zealand and South Korea", Mr Goff said.