A message from Koichi Ito, Japan’s ambassador to New Zealand

In November 2020, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a telephone talk, during which they reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the Strategic Cooperative Partnership, founded on common values and a strong commitment to peace and security, free trade and investment and sustainable development.

One example of this partnership is the hydrogen-energy sector. New Zealand is rich in renewable energy resources, including ― but not limited to ― hydro, geothermal and wind power, which all can be used to generate green hydrogen, a carbon-neutral fuel source. If collaboration between Japan and New Zealand can result in the successful utilization of these energy sources, it will not merely contribute to addressing climate issues, but also create new opportunities for sustainable energy supplies.

Japan has a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and realize a carbon-neutral society. Naturally, as New Zealand holds a very similar goal, both countries will undoubtedly benefit by working together in this area. Advancing cooperation in climate change between the two countries will in turn help enhance the prosperity and well-being of Pacific Island Countries. The Pacific Climate Change Center in Samoa is representative of bilateral cooperation in this area.

Japan and New Zealand are vital economic partners with a commitment to free trade. They have worked closely together to implement an ambitious, comprehensive, balanced and high-standard agreement known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Thanks to these efforts, more Japanese can now enjoy New Zealand’s key export products, including beef, dairy, kiwis and manuka honey. I highly expect we can keep developing this mutually beneficial relationship.

The Japan-New Zealand relationship has proved an enduring one after almost 70 years. The unwavering relationship will continue to allow us to overcome any challenges and bring nothing but success in our future collaboration.