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Date of publication: Jul 22, 2019

Judith Hanna

Executive Director
Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan
https://www.anzccj.jp/
Policy Officer
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
https://www.mfat.govt.nz/

Date of birth: April 28, 1988

Hometown: Hastings, New Zealand

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 2 (as of July 2019)

Judith Hanna
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

My first encounter was arriving in Tokyo on July 16, 2017, heading to the New Zealand Embassy in Shibuya in balmy weather. I had come to Japan to take up the second secretary position at the embassy. This was only supposed to be for a short-term assignment of six months, but I soon fell in love with Japan and decided to stay.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Work really hard at everything you do, but never lose sight of who you are, where you came from or that there are many people less fortunate than you, so always be generous. This is my motto because I believe we will all be accountable, one day, for the way we lived our lives.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Negotiating on behalf of my country in the World Trade Organization plurilateral Environmental Goods Agreement for 12 intense negotiating rounds. For a majority of these rounds, I was leading negotiations for New Zealand, facing the world’s biggest economies and most fierce trade negotiators, successfully defending New Zealand’s top priorities in the agreement.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I have three major goals: To learn as much nihongo (Japanese language) as I possibly can; develop strong connections with Japanese people, encouraging them and the future of their country; and deepen Australia, New Zealand and Japan’s business links — tapping into more opportunities as there is huge potential. I also wouldn’t mind swaying a few people to use less plastic in this country if I can!

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Whilst in Japan, be patient and keep climbing. In many ways I associate much of Japanese life with climbing Mount Fuji, which I admit, I’ve done once and probably won’t do again. The progress feels slow, the process somewhat frustrating, but with each step the view gets a little better, clearer and its beauty is like no other. It's good to remember that we're all experiencing the same journey so no point complaining; let's keep going together.

Last updated: Jul 22, 2019