Statement on Partnership between Japan and NZ

Press Release – New Zealand Government

The partnership between the two countries is founded on common values, such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as a strong commitment to peace and security, free trade and investment, and sustainable development.Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs

9 June 2013

Media Statement       

Joint statement on a strategic cooperative partnership between Japan and New Zealand

-shared values and vision-

Japan and New Zealand have a long record of international cooperation based on shared interests and objectives.  The partnership between the two countries is founded on common values, such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as a strong commitment to peace and security, free trade and investment, and sustainable development.

On the occasion of the meeting between Foreign Ministers Hon Murray McCully and H.E. Mr Fumio Kishida in Auckland on 9 June 2013, both sides renewed their commitment to pursue a cooperative approach to the challenges facing the region and the international community based on their shared values and vision, and to this end to strengthen their bilateral engagement.

A stronger bilateral relationship

Japan and New Zealand recognise that they are long-standing and natural partners, and enjoy broad ties covering many fields.  Both sides are committed to bring new vigour and vision to the relationship, as a basis to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all its forms and to work together on regional and global issues.

Both governments are committed to opening a new and more ambitious chapter in the bilateral economic relationship.  In this regard, they recognise the importance of the successful conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for creating closer, more integrated ties between Japan and New Zealand, along with other participants.

Both sides welcome the signing of a new Double Taxation Convention and further liberalisation of air travel based on the Air Services Agreement, as well as the deepening of cooperation in the science and technology fields, as important steps to modernise the relationship. They welcome the proposed signing of a Memorandum of Intent on Defence Cooperation as a significant step forward in enhancing cooperation in the security area. Both sides will consider practical proposals for new cooperative bilateral frameworks as required. They also highly value bilateral consultations for enhancing cooperation in development assistance. 

Both sides highly value expert contact and cooperation, such as is being achieved through the Japan/New Zealand Conferences. They are committed to expanding collaboration in areas such as earthquake engineering and geothermal energy, and to explore new areas for collaboration including tsunami prevention and early warning systems in the Pacific Island region. With their recent experience of natural disasters in East-Japan and Christchurch, both sides will seek further opportunities to work together to enhance disaster recovery and resilience.

Both sides recognise the wide range of frameworks in place to promote people-to-people exchanges, including the JENESYS 2.0 scheme recently announced by the Prime Minister of Japan, and the importance of these being fully utilised.  They support the work of the Japan Foundation and the Asia New Zealand Foundation in promoting greater understanding and interaction between the two countries.

Asia-Pacific regional cooperation

Both countries will cooperate to promote the stability, prosperity and integration of the Asia-Pacific region through regional institutions and mechanisms, including Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). They underline the importance of enhancing regional institutional frameworks and engagements through the constructive and responsible participation of all regional players. The two countries will work together to enhance transparency, predictability, openness and functional cooperation in regional affairs.

As maritime nations, Japan and New Zealand are committed to strengthening maritime order in the region, based on established international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  Both sides underline the importance of disputes and issues being resolved peacefully, without force or provocation, in a manner that is clearly consistent with international law.

Both sides express concern over North Korea’s nuclear and missile development. They urge North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes including its uranium enrichment activities, to fully comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the Six Party Talks Joint Statement, and to address humanitarian and human rights concerns including the abductions issue.

The two sides recognise the strategic importance of TPP, including its potential to spur economic growth and development and serve as a platform for wider trade and economic integration across the Asia-Pacific.   The two sides reaffirm their commitment to achieving a comprehensive, high-ambition, next generation agreement, consistent with the Outlines of the TPP Agreement announced by TPP Leaders on 12 November 2011 in Honolulu and New Zealand’s 21 April 2013 statement, on behalf of the existing membership, welcoming Japan to the TPP negotiation. 

Pacific Islands Cooperation

Japan and New Zealand reaffirm their shared goal of a prosperous and secure Pacific region.  They underline the importance of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) as the pre-eminent political grouping of the Pacific Islands region, and the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) process as a significant cooperative grouping, in providing regional coordination.  The two sides stress the need for effective coordination between the PIF and PALM processes, recognising the importance of Japan’s role in this regard. They have decided to hold regular Pacific consultations involving officials from foreign ministries and aid agencies to strengthen cooperation on Pacific issues and enhance development coordination in the Pacific.

Japan and New Zealand commit to advance practical actions and initiatives designed to tackle the challenges faced by the Pacific island countries, building on the respective expertise of each country.  Particular areas of focus are to include disaster management, as well as sustainable economic development, infrastructure and renewable energy.

Multilateral issues

Japan and New Zealand reaffirm their shared commitment to sustainable development, climate change issues, human rights, disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation as well as the Middle East Peace Process. They will continue to engage cooperatively to advance these issues in multilateral fora.

Both sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform, which makes it more effective and representative of the 21st century. 

Both sides commit to work constructively on the issue of the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) under the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), including a Ross Sea region MPA, consistent with the General Framework for the Establishment of CCAMLR Marine Protected Areas adopted in 2011, and CCAMLR’s conservation principles which provide for rational use.

Both sides value sports exchanges as a means to enhance bilateral engagement. Reflecting the importance of rugby in both countries, New Zealand aims to contribute to Japan’s successful hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. New Zealand appreciates Tokyo’s efforts to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


To ensure close coordination on bilateral, regional and global issues, both sides reiterate the importance of more frequent political-level visits and dialogues, and also regular consultations between officials.

They also emphasise the importance of non-governmental dialogues, such as track two discussions and business-to-business forums such as the Japan/New Zealand Partnership Forum and the Japan/New Zealand Business Council, for deepening understanding and cooperation.


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