Talks held with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister

Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, last night hosted dinner at his home for the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Japan, Tarō Asō, and Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Masatsugu Asakawa.

Tarō Asō’s visit to New Zealand was in response to an invitation issued by Mr Peters during his official visit to Tokyo in May.

“The visit of Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister underlines the excellent state of our bilateral relationship,” said Mr Peters.

“Japan is the world’s third largest economy, New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, and a source of high quality foreign investment.

“Our discussions last night ranged widely across the many areas where we cooperate.  We also identified areas where we have agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation, particularly in the delivery of our respective development assistance programmes in the Pacific.

“New Zealand and Japan also partner very closely on trade and regional issues, including through the CPTPP, APEC, and the East Asia Summit.  Both countries share a commitment to an open, stable and prosperous rules based regional order.

“Japan is an important partner for New Zealand in the region, and it was important for me to be able to spend time with one of Japan’s most senior leaders, confirming our determination to elevate our relationship to a new level,” Mr Peters said.

Tarō Asō and Masatsugu Asakawa departed New Zealand this morning.