Warm greetings to the 2018 Wellington Japan Festival.

We know from the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s work over the last 24 years that New Zealanders learn about Asia a number of ways, and these festival experiences play a really important role in helping New Zealanders understand and gain confidence with Asia. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Foundation supports initiatives like the Japan Festival. It gives Wellingtonians and visitors from out of town an opportunity to experience some of the richness of Japanese culture. We have a longstanding friendship with Japan and it is a relationship New Zealanders feel particularly warm towards. There are longstanding tourism and business connections between our two countries. That said we should continue to find ways to grow our relationship and strengthen our cultural and social ties. Events like this Japan Festival are an obvious way to do just that.

Enjoy the festival.