Message from Ambassador Kobayashi

Greetings.

It is my pleasure to introduce myself, my name is Hiroyasu Kobayashi. On the 18th of October I presented my credentials to H.E. The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand, and officially took up my tenure as the Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand.

Japan and New Zealand have cooperated in a positive manner for a long time now, through our close political and economic ties, and our people-to-people exchanges. The latter has been particularly strong recently, with roughly 100,000 Japanese nationals visiting New Zealand in 2017 and about 56,000 New Zealanders visiting Japan in 2016. In the very near future, Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, and the World Masters Games in Kansai in 2021. I have high hopes that these large sporting events will further strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship between our countries.

The role of this Embassy is first and foremost, to develop the already friendly bilateral relations that Japan and New Zealand currently enjoy. Our two countries’ friendly and cooperative relationship has been established under our shared commitment to fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law. Interactions between high level members of our Governments have increased significantly, most recently, with Hon. Taro Kono, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan visiting New Zealand directly after my own arrival in mid-October. During his visit, he met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters, and other Ministers of New Zealand. Both Ministers for Foreign Affairs agreed to further strengthen our “Strategic Cooperative Partnership” in a wide range of aspects including the deepening of personal exchange and facing the various challenges that we, as countries in the Indo-Pacific region, are both affected by.

There are 43 sister city relationships between Japan and New Zealand, with strong grassroots exchange between local councils and individuals of our two countries. The Embassy of Japan in New Zealand will continue to support these relationships and the cultural exchanges that they have facilitated.

I will endeavour to further develop Japan’s cordial relationship with New Zealand, and I would be very grateful if your understanding and cooperation could be given to us.

Hiroyasu Kobayashi
Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand

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