Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the New Zealand-Japan Strategic Cooperative Partnership and noted that, notwithstanding the disruptions of the pandemic, great progress had been made in strengthening the bilateral relationship in recent years. They looked forward to the coming year when Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand will mark 70 years of diplomatic relations.
Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a freer and more open Indo-Pacific. They noted the alignment between the respective approaches of Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand. They discussed responses to increasing challenges to the rules based order in the Indo-Pacific. They expressed grave concern about North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile tests and the threat this poses to regional security. Minister Mahuta expressed understanding and support for Japan’s efforts to resolve North Korea’s historical abductions of Japanese citizens. Ministers expressed concern about increased tensions at the Russia-Ukraine border and reiterated their strong support for diplomatic efforts to urgently de-escalate the crisis.
Ministers looked forward to strengthening cooperation in the Pacific in line with the 2019 Joint Declaration on Cooperation in the Pacific Islands Region. Minister Mahuta acknowledged Japan’s support for Tonga following the eruption and tsunami.
Foreign Minister Mahuta congratulated Japan on its leadership as chair in 2021 of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Ministers welcomed the future expansion of CPTPP to economies that can fully adhere to its high standards and ambitious market access commitments.