My name is Minoru Kikuchi and I arrived to take up my position as Consul General on April 20, 2018.
This year marks 50 years since the Consulate General of Japan was first established in Auckland, in February 1968. The book “Japanese People in Auckland” published by the Japanese Society of Auckland has more details of the time when the consulate was set up and gives a real sense of the last 50 years of working with Japanese residents in Auckland.
Currently Auckland is home to one third of New Zealand’s population and is the country’s main hub of business and culture. There are around 10,000 Japanese residents and 160 Japanese companies in the region our office in Auckland covers (Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and part of Manawatu –Wanganui). Some 20 Japanese local government organisations have sister city relationships with cities in this region (there are 43 in total across the whole of New Zealand) and we are strengthening friendly relations through exchange between organisations. We also hope to further activate sports exchange between our two countries. As New Zealand is such a rugby-loving nation we expect there will be great attention on the Rugby World Cup held in Japan in 2019, and this will be followed by the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
I believe the consulate’s first priority is the safety of Japanese residents and visitors from Japan and the performance of consular duties as well as joining with related organisations to support Japanese businesses. In addition I hope to increase efforts to further mutual understanding and support people-to-people exchange between Japan and New Zealand through sister-cities, sports and cultural exchange.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Consul General of Japan in Auckland
May 24, 2018