Japan-New Zealand Foreign Ministers' Meeting
October 28, 2009
On October 28, 2009 (Wed) following the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology between Japan and New Zealand, Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan had a meeting with Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for about 30 minutes from 4:45 p.m. The summary of the meeting is as follows.
- Bilateral Relations
(1) Overall Relations
Minister Okada stated that Japan and New Zealand are important partners that share fundamental values in the Asia-Pacific region. He also said that he was pleased that the two countries had signed the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology between Japan and New Zealand, expressing his wish that further cooperation will be made in this field in the future. In response, Minister McCully congratulated Minister Okada once again for his assumption of the office of Minister for Foreign Affairs. Both ministers agreed to cooperate to strengthen relations between the two countries. Also, Minister McCully invited Minister Okada to visit New Zealand, to which Minister Okada replied that he would consider a visit at a convenient timing.
(2) Security and Defense Cooperation
Minister Okada stated that it is important to promote cooperation in a wide variety of areas including humanitarian reconstruction assistance, disaster relief, and counter-terrorism. From this standpoint, he said that he hoped to strengthen exchanges between foreign and defense authorities. Also, he said that he hoped to continue ongoing cooperation on the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Maritime Security ISM that is co-sponsored by both countries. Minister McCully responded that he shared the same view.
(3) Trade and Economic Relations
Minister McCully said that both countries have entered into or are negotiating EPAs/FTAs with various countries, and that New Zealand hoped to take the opportunity of this visit to make progress on an EPA/FTA with Japan. In response, Minister Okada said that he was aware of difficulties regarding an EPA/FTA with New Zealand, and hoped that New Zealand would understand this as both countries discuss the ways to enhance bilateral economic relations.
(4) Whaling Issue
Minister McCully stated that while the two countries have different views regarding the whaling issue, he hoped to find a diplomatic solution. Both countries agreed to continue discussions.
- Regional and Global Issues
(1) Afghanistan and Pakistan
Minister McCully stated that New Zealand had dispatched its military and police units to Bamyan in Afghanistan as Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT). He went on to say that he hoped to explore opportunities to cooperate with Japan with respect to reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan. In response, Minister Okada said that he put high priority on assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that he hoped to strengthen support to both countries in such areas as agriculture and construction of schools. Both ministers agreed to explore opportunities to further discuss this issue.
(2) North Korea
Minister McCully reaffirmed his support for Japan’s position on the North Korea issue and both ministers agreed to cooperate towards the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
(3) UN Security Council Reform
Minister McCully reiterated New Zealand’s continued support for Japan's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council. Minister Okada expressed his appreciation, and the two ministers agreed to cooperate toward the realization of UN Security Council reform.
(4) Pacific Islands
The ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation with respect to the Pacific Islands, in which both Japan and New Zealand have common interests.