Appointment of new Ambassador to Japan

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Hamish Cooper as Ambassador to Japan.

“Mr Cooper is eminently well qualified for this important role in Tokyo, as our relationship with Japan goes from strength to strength,” says Mr Peters.

“He is fluent in the Japanese language, and has served in Tokyo as Deputy Head of Mission and in Osaka as Consul-General.  He has also served as Ambassador to the Russian Federation and to Turkey, and was the Senior Foreign Affairs Adviser in both the current and previous Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“New Zealand welcomes Japan’s increased engagement in the Pacific and we have agreed to work more cooperatively on development assistance in the region.

“Recent visits from New Zealand ministers, including myself, and those from Japan’s senior political leadership have confirmed the strength and significant mutual benefit of the New Zealand/Japan relationship.

“New Zealand and Japan enjoy a strong trade and economic relationship, which continues to grow under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTTP). We have shared interests on defence and security, and have long enjoyed friendships through cultural and sporting contacts. Both our countries are looking forward to the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand can expect wide recognition in Japan,” Mr Peters said.