On this page

Embassies and consular services for Japan

Location Service areas
New Zealand Embassy
Embassy of Japan

Our relationship with Japan

Japan is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most important partners. We share strong political ties, common values and a mutual commitment to stability, growth and development in our region and globally. Since diplomatic relations were established in 1952, the relationship has grown strongly through two-way trade, economic, tourism, cultural, sporting and people-to-people links.

Regular Prime Ministerial and Ministerial visits advance key priorities and profile growing areas of cooperation, including in security, the Pacific, energy, and expanding the trade and economic relationship. Our Prime Minister’s Fellowship Programme for Japanese Diet members (politicians) complements exchanges between the New Zealand and Japanese parliaments. Both parliaments have Japan/New Zealand Parliamentary Friendship Groups.

Trade and investment

The bilateral economic relationship with Japan is multi-faceted. Japan is one of the world’s largest economies, with a significant consumer market. Japan is a lucrative export market for New Zealand and New Zealand companies active in Japan are achieving excellent results.

Japan is a significant source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for New Zealand. Japanese investment has a long-term focus and is of high quality, and Japanese companies have a significant presence in New Zealand’s regions.

The Japan New Zealand Business Council(external link) (JNZBC) has been supporting the bilateral trade and economic relationship since its inception in 1973 by facilitating commercial linkages.

Japan and New Zealand were both signatories to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Both Japan and New Zealand are committed to building the region’s economic architecture – including through the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

The latest information about New Zealand's trade profile with Japan is available on the New Zealand Trade Dashboard(external link).

People and culture

New Zealand and Japan enjoy strong cultural links, formed through decades of people-to-people exchanges and more than 40 active Sister City and Friendly City relationships. Many people with Japanese heritage reside in New Zealand and Japanese culture is promoted through annual events in Auckland and Christchurch and a biannual event in Wellington.

Increasing numbers of New Zealanders reside in Japan, including those students participating in the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA). Many young New Zealanders have participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme since 1987, teaching English and sharing their culture, and acting as “cultural Ambassadors” for Japan.

Our Embassy and the Hokkaido regional government signed a Partnership Agreement that focuses on exchanges between Māori and Ainu as well as cooperation in the areas of agriculture, sport and education. Extensions to this Partnership Arrangement added a focus on sustainability, inclusion and renewables.

Young Japanese citizens interested in living and working in New Zealand can find information on the Immigration NZ's Japan Working Holiday Visa website(external link).

Young New Zealanders interested in a working holiday visa for Japan can find information on the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand website(external link).

Development cooperation and sustainability

Japan and New Zealand both suffered major natural disasters in 2011 and came to each other’s assistance.

As such, we have a close relationship in many aspects of disaster risk reduction, such as earthquake science. New Zealand and Japan are also working together to transition away from a reliance on fossil fuels, including in the area of hydrogen development in New Zealand.

Over the last several years, Japan has used the concept of a ‘Free and Open Indo Pacific’ which has three pillars; the promotion and establishment of the rule of law, freedom of navigation, free trade; the pursuit of economic prosperity; and a commitment to peace and stability. There is potential for New Zealand and Japan to increase development cooperation, in partnership with Pacific Island countries, in areas like maritime security and safety, climate change, environment, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

Follow us

Facebook | New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo(external link)

YouTube | New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo(external link)


We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. You can find out more information on our Privacy Page.