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Source: New Zealand Government

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today paid tribute to Japan’s outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“Prime Minister Abe has made his mark in many ways. In particular, I am very grateful for his personal commitment to further strengthening the Strategic Cooperative Partnership between our countries over the course of his leadership,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“I was fortunate enough to visit Japan last year, and during my summit meeting with Prime Minister Abe we discussed the deepening relationship between our countries. I also thanked Prime Minster Abe for his leadership on CPTPP, which was of enormous benefit for economies in the region, and has also brought our two countries even closer.

“Prime Minister Abe struck me as a person of great integrity. He has led by example and showed what hard work, passion, and care for others can achieve. 

“Japan is one of New Zealand’s closest friends in the region. Many New Zealanders have connections to Japan – through learning Japanese or hosting Japanese students, as I did as a high school student – or through spending time in Japan for study, work or sports exchanges. 

“There is much Japan and New Zealand see eye to eye on. Our shared commitment to democracy and the rules-based international system makes Japan an important partner for New Zealand, especially in the Indo-Pacific region where we share common goals.

“In a challenging global and regional environment, Prime Minister Abe’s personal leadership and Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision has been important in upholding the values that New Zealand and Japan share. 

“I would like to thank Prime Minister Abe for all he has done for Japan, the region, and New Zealand, and I acknowledge him for what he has done. I wish him all the best,” Jacinda Ardern said.

MIL OSI