Arrival Greeting

Kia Ora! Greetings to all of you!

I am MATSUI Shinji, the new Consul General of Japan in Auckland.I arrived here on 15 June. This is my very first time to come to New Zealand.
I entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1989, and in the Consular Affairs Bureau, I was engaged in the emergency international response during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Until this May, I have been involved in Japan’s contributions to the development of rule-making for international organisations to deal with global issues such as the military aggression against Ukraine, violations of international law, and threats to public transportation, supply chains and the security of information and communications in the International Cooperation Bureau. Based on these experiences and the advice from people here in Auckland, I will lead the Consulate-General's activities, with particular emphasis on the following three points.

Firstly, we will continue to promptly and accurately inform the more than 10,000 Japanese residents in the Auckland, Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Ruapehu district of the Consulate-General's jurisdiction about necessary information and situations that need to be addressed, placing the highest priority on ensuring the safety of these residents. In addition, we will ensure that no one is left behind in the event of an emergency through the consular services we provide to the people of the region. We will work hand in hand with the Japanese Society in Auckland, as well as through school education, Japan Day, and other opportunities to disseminate information and expand our relationships with the people of the region.

Secondly, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, with approximately 30% of the population and 40% of the economy concentrated here, making it a very important city in terms of cultural and economic relations with Japan. The city has a long history of friendship and goodwill by way of youth exchange through the JET programme, the working holiday program, and sister city exchange. This has developed through grassroots exchange of human resources, cultural exchange, and mutual visits, the development of Japanese companies in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and renewable energy projects against the backdrop of an increasingly close economic relationship under the TPP. We support and build bridges between Japan and the Japanese people through sports exchange, Japanese martial arts exchange, human resource development, and the resumption and activation of study abroad, education, and research exchanges. In particular, the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 will be held in July this year. We welcome and support Nadeshiko Japan and deepen people-to-people exchanges between the two countries making most of this momentum.

Thirdly, as Auckland and other regions are returning to their pre-COVID routines of activities and exchanges, we must be aware of other compounding risks (earthquakes and tsunamis, cyclones and unknown infectious disease risks, as well as challenges that regrettably exist to maintaining peace and security, the rule of law, economic and social sustainability, etc.). I would like to discuss with you what we can do to help increase the number of people in both countries who will pass on to the next generation an understanding and practice of how to create a sustainable future and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). I believe that this will contribute to further cooperation in the economic and social fields, and ultimately to strengthening the strategic cooperative partnership between our two countries.

Many of those involved in exchange and business development between the two countries, whom I was able to meet and talk with prior to my arrival in Japan, expressed their expectations for the resumption of exchanges and visits to this region this year and beyond, and I heard encouraging stories in light of the human flow and economic activities that are regaining pre-COVID conditions. New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Mr. Cooper, kindly told me before my departure "In New Zealand there is Maori spirit, which is rooted in the desire to welcome others with respect, to take an interest in their culture, and to provide hospitality, and in an education that values diversity, empathy, and new perspectives on the world. I am sure that if you bring your own perspectives on international affairs and global issues, as well as your experience in Japan's initiatives, to your encounters in New Zealand, you will be able to start a fresh relationship with the Kiwis, and I and other Kiwis will be interested in what you have to say". I sincerely appreciate the encouragement and sincere advice I received from the Embassy of New Zealand in Tokyo, the mayors, deputy mayors, and other local government officials, as well as leaders of Japanese companies and research institutions.

I highly appreciate your continued frank opinions, advice, understanding and cooperation for the activities of the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland.
June 2023

Consul-General of Japan in Auckland