Japan-New Zealand Prime Ministers' Meeting

29, October, 2009

On 29 October 2009, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan had a meeting with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, who is currently in Japan as a guest on official working visit, in Tokyo. The meeting started at 6pm and lasted for forty five minutes, and the gist of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was followed by the dinner Prime Minister Hatoyama hosted for Prime Minister Key, which lasted until 8:15pm. The two Prime Ministers issued a joint press statement after the meeting.

1. Bilateral Relationship

(1) The two Prime Ministers committed to furthering the Japan-New Zealand bilateral relationship as traditionally friendly nations who share fundamental values.

(2) Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that, next year, Japan would launch a new invitation program for fifty NZ specialists of specific areas, including agriculture and environment in addition to the invitation program for fifty business persons of New Zealand, which started last year.

(3) Prime Minister Key stated that the bilateral partnership between Japan and New Zealand covers a range of areas, including politics, economy, people-to-people exchange, tourism, and sport. Prime Minister Key congratulated Japan on its successful bid to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and said that New Zealand would like to share with Japan its experience of hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

2. Economic Relationship (including FTA/EPA)

(1) Prime Minister Key stated that he believes that, with Japan being the fourth largest trading partner for New Zealand, there remains room for further strengthening the bilateral trade and investment relationship, thereby reenergizing the bilateral relationship. Prime Minister Key expressed his ambitions for a bilateral FTA/EPA.

(2) After explaining to Prime Minister Key the basic policy of his administration that it would pursue FTA/EPAs with various countries, Prime Minister Hatoyama expressed Japan's cautious position on a bilateral FTA/EPA with New Zealand, pointing out that sensitive items, such as dairy products and beef, account for a substantial portion of trade. Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that, on that premise, he would like to examine ways to strengthen the bilateral trade and investment relationship to the extent possible.

(3) Prime Minister Key responded that he understands the sensitivities on the Japanese side as a politician, but underlined that New Zealand agricultural products will not necessarily threaten Japan's agriculture and that cooperation is possible in various ways.

(4) Following the exchanges above, the two Prime Ministers agreed to continue discussions in the existing Japan New Zealand Officials Group on ways to strengthen the Japan-New Zealand bilateral economic relationship.

(5) The two Prime Ministers also agreed to further cooperation in view of various initiatives on regional cooperation.

3. UN Security Council Reform

Prime Minister Key expressed New Zealand's support for the UN Security Council reform, including Japan's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council. Prime Minister Hatoyama expressed his appreciation for the support.

4. Climate Change

(1) Prime Minister Key introduced to Prime Minister Hatoyama New Zealand's initiative to establish a "Global Alliance", which is intended to explore ways to reduce emissions from agriculture through investment and advanced technologies, and requested Japan to participate in that initiative. Prime Minister Hatoyama said that advanced technologies are necessary to solve the climate change issue, and welcomed New Zealand's initiative in that context, expressing Japan's intention to cooperate.

(2) Prime Minister Hatoyama said that sending a strong message in the COP15 to be held in Copenhagen in December is important, and that Japan would like to work closely with New Zealand to that end.

Back to Index