30 October 2009
Japan - New Zealand Joint Press Statement
1. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan and Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand met in Tokyo on 29 October 2009 and discussed the bilateral relationship as well as regional and global matters of mutual interest.
2 The two Leaders noted they were meeting for the first time following elections in New Zealand and Japan. They affirmed that Japan and New Zealand enjoy a mature and productive relationship based on shared fundamental values. They shared the view that the two countries are long-standing and natural partners in the Asia Pacific region and internationally. They welcomed the depth of cooperation across trade and investment, science and technology, people-to-people linkages, tourism and security and defence.
3 The two Leaders shared the recognition that high level exchanges between Leaders and Ministers, as well as other regular dialogues, contribute positively to the development of the bilateral relationship and expressed their intention to increase such contacts. Prime Minister Hatoyama expressed appreciation for the invitation extended by Prime Minister Key to visit New Zealand.
I. BILATERAL RELATIONS
4 The two Leaders affirmed their meeting as an occasion to bring new vigour and vision to the bilateral relationship. They recognised the need to strengthen all aspects of the relationship.
5 Recognising the long-standing trade and investment ties and complementary nature of the two countries' economies, the two Leaders resolved to move forward the trade and economic relationship. Prime Minister Key briefed Prime Minister Hatoyama on New Zealand's ambitions for a future EPA/FTA with Japan. Prime Minister Hatoyama explained Japan's position on the matter. The two Leaders noted that the Japan New Zealand Officials Group had commenced dialogue to enhance the economic relationship as an equal partnership based on the complementarity of the economies. They instructed the Group to deepen discussions in a constructive manner so as to take the partnership forward.
6 The two Leaders noted their support for various business-led initiatives being convened in Tokyo including the second Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum and the 36th Joint Meeting of the Japan New Zealand Business Council.
7 The two Leaders welcomed the signing of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of New Zealand on Cooperation in Science and Technology, which will strengthen cooperative activities in the area of science and technology between the two countries.
8 The two Leaders welcomed initiatives to strengthen people-to-people linkages including New Zealand's enhancements to its Working Holiday Scheme and Japan's "Future Business Counterparts Programme" involving young businesspeople. Prime Minister Key welcomed the new "Subject Oriented New Invitational Programme" to enable 50 young New Zealanders to visit Japan and experience its society and people.
9 Noting the importance of tourism between Japan and New Zealand, and the challenges faced by the global economic slowdown, the two Leaders decided to explore opportunities to grow tourism between the two countries particularly as the global economy improves.
10 Prime Minister Key congratulated Japan on its successful bid to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The two Leaders noted that rugby ties between the two countries were long-standing and were set to deepen in the years ahead with both countries scheduled to host the Rugby World Cup.
11 The two Leaders welcomed the significant progress made in building a stronger bilateral security and defence relationship underpinned by a shared commitment to regional and international stability. They committed to exploring opportunities for strengthening cooperation including in peacekeeping. In this regard, they committed to strengthening exchanges between officials on defence and security issues.
II. REGIONAL ISSUES
12 The two Leaders welcomed continued cooperation between Japan and New Zealand on Asia Pacific regional issues and in efforts to support peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region, including respective efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Timor-Leste. They resolved to continue close collaboration.
13 Recognising the importance of continued international cooperation in comprehensively resolving outstanding issues of concern with North Korea, including the nuclear, missile and abduction issues, the two Leaders concurred on the importance of the steady implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions by all the UN member states and strongly urged North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks and to take positive and concrete steps toward the full implementation of the September 2005 Joint Statement.
14 The two leaders affirmed their commitment to work together to promote peace, prosperity, and sustainable economic development in the Pacific region. Sharing the recognition that climate change poses a grave threat to the Pacific region, they confirmed their intention to work together in calling for greater efforts from all states to address the issue.
15 The two Leaders affirmed their intention to work closely together to promote and help shape regional cooperation, including through the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). In this context, they welcomed the ongoing cooperation in the ARF between Japan and New Zealand on maritime security. They reiterated Japan and New Zealand's commitment to open regionalism and reaffirmed their collaboration on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) in accordance with the outcome of EAS. The two Leaders also expressed their support for the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia. Prime Minister Key welcomed Prime Minister Hatoyama's briefing on his vision to establish an East Asian community. The two leaders affirmed their commitment to continue the discussion on regional cooperation.
16 The two Leaders shared the recognition that Japan and New Zealand are close partners in APEC and strongly supported APEC's goal of promoting regional prosperity and better business conditions through facilitation and liberalisation of trade and investment and regional economic integration, including efforts for the examination of the prospects and options of a possible Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) as a long-term prospect. They also noted the importance of exploring a growth strategy looking toward recovery from the financial crisis and growth in the later stages in APEC. The two Leaders welcomed the opportunity for close cooperation to ensure the success of APEC in 2010 when Japan will be the chair.
III. GLOBAL ISSUES
17 The two leaders confirmed their determination to work actively in the intergovernmental negotiations towards an early realisation of the United Nations Security Council reform, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership of the Council to reflect better the realities of the 21st century. The Japanese side expressed appreciation for New Zealand's support for Japan's membership in an expanded Security Council.
18 In order to overcome the global economic crisis and restore market confidence, the two Leaders underlined the importance of maintaining an open world economy and trading system based on robust domestic economies and capable of resisting protectionist pressures. They noted the G20 had an important role to play in responding to the crisis and welcomed the outcomes of the Pittsburgh Summit. They further reaffirmed that an ambitious and balanced conclusion of the WTO Doha Round in 2010 will play an important role in responding to the crisis and committed to working together towards this end.
19 On environment, the two Leaders underscored their intention to achieve a successful and ambitious outcome from the Copenhagen climate change conference. The Leaders reiterated that it is imperative to establish a fair and effective international framework in which all major economies participate. The Leaders recognized the need to set ambitious mid-term emission reduction targets as contributions to achieving this outcome. The Leaders discussed actions to combat greenhouse gas emissions and shared recognition on the necessity of taking effective actions. Prime Minister Hatoyama welcomed New Zealand's proposal to establish a "Global Alliance" on agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research. Prime Minister Key welcomed the Statement by Prime Minister Hatoyama at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change.
20 The two Leaders decided to review progress in areas for new or expanded cooperation identified in the present statement at the next leader's meeting and to identify further initiatives at the meeting.
27 October 2009
PM announces memorial service for tsunami victims
Prime Minister John Key has announced that there will be a National Memorial Service to commemorate those who lost their lives in the recent tsunami tragedy in Samoa.
The service will be attended by Prime Minister John Key and Governor-General, the Hon Sir Anand Satyanand.
"I would like to invite the families of the New Zealand victims and the wider New Zealand Pacific community to join me at this service," says Mr Key.
"It is fitting that we remember the New Zealanders, Samoans, and Tongans who lost their lives by way of a National Memorial Service."
The service will be held at the Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Parnell on Sunday 8 November at 4.00pm
27 October 2009
PM welcomes NZ-Malaysia FTA signing
Prime Minister John Key today welcomed the New Zealand - Malaysia Free Trade Agreement as another step forward in forging better trade and other links with our neighbours in South East Asia.
Mr Key witnessed the signing of the agreement by Trade Minister Tim Groser and the Malaysian Trade Minister in Kuala Lumpur (8pm local time 26 Oct - 1am NZ time 27 Oct).
"Comprehensive free trade agreements such as this are vital for an exporting nation like New Zealand, which is far from markets and reliant on overseas export earnings.
"The NZ-Malaysia FTA is a significant step forward in relations with Malaysia and further evidence of our economic integration with Asia. The agreement consolidates a relationship that is built on strong official, business and individual links.
"The agreement builds on the results we achieved with the 12-country ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA signed earlier this year."
"Malaysia is New Zealand's 8th largest export market, with New Zealand exports to that country worth almost $1 billion last year.
"Between 2004 and 2008 New Zealand's goods exports to Malaysia grew by more than 80 per cent - double the rate for New Zealand's export growth to the world over the same period."
Mr Key is accompanied in Malaysia by a business delegation numbering more than 60. The delegation is in Kuala Lumpur to take part in a formal programme in support of the FTA signing.
"Having so many prominent New Zealand businesses here in Malaysia not only demonstrates the importance of this agreement, but it also highlights increasing diversification of New Zealand's export sector."
Mr Key pointed to the boost in two-way trade between China and New Zealand since the passing of the China-NZ FTA as showing that these agreements work.
It is expected that the agreement will come into force next year once both countries have completed their respective domestic approval procedures.
MNZFTA Key Outcomes (pdf, 231 Kb)
23 October 2009
PM launches $1 million Prizes for Science
Prime Minister John Key has delivered on another promise to the science community by launching the inaugural Prime Minister's Prizes for Science.
Speaking at an event at Plant and Food Research in Auckland, Mr Key announced five categories of prizes worth a total of one million dollars.
"Our scientists are doing high-quality research in many areas but too often their achievements receive little public acclaim. We are committed to raising the profile and prestige of science in New Zealand," says Mr Key.
There will be five categories of prizes:
- The Prime Minister's Science Prize - $500,000
- The Prime Minister's MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year Prize - $150,000
- The Prime Minister's Future Scientist Prize - $50,000
- The Prime Minister's Science Teacher Prize - $50,000 to the teacher and $100,000 to their school
- The Prime Minister's Science Media Communications Prize - $150,000
Mr Key says, "New Zealand's prosperity rests on our ability to make full use of our scientific expertise. These prizes, by combining recognition and financial reward, will be important in attracting young people into science careers.
"Combined with my appointment of Professor Sir Peter Gluckman as Chief Science Advisor these prizes demonstrate I am serious about the role science plays in our economic performance."
The inaugural winners will be announced in February 2010 and subsequent winners will be announced in November each year.
Further details available at www.pmscienceprizes.org.nz