Message from Ambassador Osawa


On 3 April 2024, I presented my credentials to Her Excellency the Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand, and officially commenced my duties as Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand.

I have visited New Zealand several times as the lead negotiator for agriculture, forestry and fisheries products during the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations, the first trade negotiation that was agreed upon between Japan and New Zealand. The agreement has since borne fruit as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and has brought prosperity to both countries as the core of a free and fair trading system in the region.

It is a great honour to be posted as Ambassador to New Zealand, a country with which I have such close ties, and to have the opportunity to learn about New Zealand's unique and diverse history, society, culture and nature, and to further develop our bilateral friendship.

From now on, I would like to focus on the following three points. Firstly, I would like to further strengthen the Strategic Cooperative Partnership between our two countries. Through our close cooperation, Japan and New Zealand will work to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law to ensure that the region becomes inclusive, stable and prosperous. In particular, we believe in the importance of our bilateral cooperation in the Pacific Islands region, especially in addressing issues such as climate change, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to uphold human dignity.

Secondly, I hope to further develop our bilateral business relationship. Japan is New Zealand's fourth largest trading partner. The Japan-New Zealand Business Council, which plays a central role in strengthening bilateral business ties, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. I would like to use this opportunity to promote the rapidly expanding development of bilateral business relations, from traditional areas such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries to new areas such as renewable energy and space exploration.

Third, I would like to revitalise and deepen the people-to-people exchanges, which were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to revive and deepen these exchanges through connections like the 44 sister city relationships between our two countries. Other areas including sport exchanges such as rugby, tourism, youth exchanges such as the JET programme and cultural exchange events will contribute to deepening the bilateral relationship at the people-to-people level.

New Zealand is home to approximately 20,000 Japanese residents and 220 Japanese companies. The Embassy of Japan will continue to make every effort to ensure that all Japanese visitors to New Zealand, whether they are here for short or long-term stays, feel at ease.
The basis of exchange comes from learning from each other's culture and respecting each other. As Ambassador, I will take the lead in understanding and introducing New Zealand to Japan, and helping New Zealanders to understand the good qualities of Japan.

OSAWA Makoto
Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand