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New Zealand and Japan strengthen Strategic Cooperative Partnership

Prime Minister of Japan His Excellency Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister of New Zealand the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern held a productive meeting in Tokyo on 19 September 2019.

According to a recent press release, they have agreed to further strengthen the Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the countries.

The Strategic Cooperative Partnership is founded on common values such as freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights, as well as a strong commitment to peace and security, free trade and investment and sustainable development.

In a challenging and changing global and regional environment, New Zealand and Japan enjoy a stable long-term relationship that in recent years has gone from strength to strength.

Their shared commitment to the rules-based international system makes Japan an important partner for New Zealand especially in the Indo-Pacific region where both share mutual goals.

Cooperating on several key areas

  1. Secured cyberspace

Prime Minister Ardern thanked the Prime Minister Abe for Japan’s ongoing support for the Christchurch Call and welcomed their increasing cooperation in cybersecurity.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on New Zealand and France to end online extremism, which came in the wake of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The leaders of Japan and New Zealand committed to continuing to implement the Christchurch Call to Action with the aim of eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online.

The two leaders reportedly shared the importance of developing and strengthening the rules-based system in new domains such as cyberspace and outer space, confirming their shared interests in continuing to closely cooperate in these areas.

They also decided to enhance their efforts for a free, open and secure cyberspace, including through cooperation in multilateral frameworks and a bilateral cyber security dialogue.

  1. Outer Space

On outer space, the two leaders confirmed the importance of implementing the Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities and took note of ongoing discussions on a bilateral memorandum on the registration of space objects.

They expressed a desire to expand space cooperation between the two countries. For this purpose, they encouraged discussions on a possible partnership arrangement on bilateral space cooperation.

  1. Other agreements

Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner and an important source of high quality investment.

Japan has total investments in New Zealand of NZ$ 5.5 billion, up from less than NZ$ 1 billion in 2001.

Additionally, Japan is the sixth largest tourism market with 115,000 Japanese visitors every year.

New Zealand has welcomed Japan’s increased engagement in the Pacific. There is a number of initiatives that demonstrate the countries’ strengthened cooperation in the region.

These may be the first of many projects where both countries can work together in the Pacific, in line with the Pacific Reset and Japan’s “Active, Opportunity‑filled and Innovative Future” policy.

There is also an agreement to enter a Joint Study towards developing a security Information Sharing Agreement (ISA), which will make the exchange of classified information simpler.

It would be only the fourth ISA Japan has, along with the US, Australia and the UK.

New Zealanders have long enjoyed friendships with the people of Japan, including through education, cultural and sporting contacts.


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