Foreign Minister holds talks with Japanese Govt representative

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed talks held today with a visiting senior Japanese government representative as a further sign the relationship is going from strength to strength.

Mr Peters this afternoon met with Kentaro Sonoura who is Special Advisor (National Security) to Prime Minister Abe. Mr Sonoura is a four term Liberal Democratic Party member who served as a parliamentary Vice-Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs before being appointed his to current position in the Prime Minister’s office in 2017.

“New Zealand has welcomed Japan’s increased engagement in the Pacific and we have discussed how to work more cooperatively on development assistance in the region. We also discussed building momentum in the bilateral relationship in 2019,” said Mr Peters.

“As part of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset policy we are working more closely with development partners in the region and for that reason welcome the increased Japanese engagement,” he said.

Mr Sonoura’s visit is a continuation of a high level of bilateral exchanges which included Mr Peters visiting Japan last year, and visits to New Zealand by Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Foreign Minister Kono.  Prime Ministers’ Ardern and Abe held talks at the East Asia Summit in Singapore last November while Trade Minister David Parker visited Japan last week for CPTPP discussions.