New Consul-general For OsakaForeign Affairs and Trade
New Zealand's next Consul-General to Osaka will be Mr Hamish Cooper, currently Counsellor at the New Zealand High Commission in London, Foreign Minister Don McKinnon announced today.
Mr Cooper is a career diplomat who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1986. He has served in New Zealand diplomatic posts in Tokyo and London and is a fluent Japanese speaker.
"Osaka and the wider Kansai region are of considerable importance to New Zealand as export markets.
"Currently about 25-30% of New Zealand's exports to Japan enter through Kansai air and sea ports. The region is also an important source of tourists for New Zealand.
"The Consulate-General provides an entry point and platform for the promotion of our trade and economic links with the Kansai- a region which has a population of over 22 million and a GDP equivalent to that of Canada.
"The Consul-General has a leading role in maintaining and developing those links into the region", Mr McKinnon said.
Mr Cooper will take up his posting to Osaka in February next year. He replaces Stephen Payton, who is returning to Wellington.