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Cabinet Paper CAB-19-SUB-0512: Proposed Overseas Travel Hon Grant Robertson
Portfolio: Finance, Sport and Recreation
Proposed Overseas Travel: Hon Grant Robertson
1 I seek Cabinet approval to travel to Tokyo, Japan  from Thursday 24 October 2019 to Sunday 3 November 2019, to:
- undertake bilateral engagements on matters relevant to my Finance and Sport and Recreation portfolios,  and
- attend the semi-final and final matches of the Rugby World Cup 2019 (RWC 2019) in Japan.
2 The Prime Minister has approved the travel in-principle, and House leave has been sought from the Party Whip.
Purpose of travel
3The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has identified Japan as a key partner. It is seeking to strengthen the relationship between our two countries, including through leveraging several high profile sporting fixtures Japan is hosting in 2019-21: the RWC 2019; the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020; and the World Masters Games in 2021.
4A visit to Japan to attend the RWC 2019 will contribute to New Zealand’s broader strategic effort to lift the relationship with Japan, and will allow me to advance issues relevant to both my Sport and Recreation and Finance portfolios.
5A visit at this time will also provide a useful opportunity to further build on the momentum achieved in the Prime Minister’s visit on 18 -22 September.
6Finance: I will use this visit to exchange views with and gather insights from a range of government and non-government stakeholders on key finance and Government priorities. To this end, I am seeking a call with Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tarō Asō, and with the Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. These, and other engagements, will present opportunities for New Zealand to reinforce its value as a committed and like-minded strategic partner, particularly on global and regional economic and trade issues.
7Sport and Recreation: The RWC 2019 provides opportunities for both business-to-business and government-to-government meetings with global and regional partners likely to attend this significant event.
8In 2017, Sport New Zealand and the Japan Sports Agency signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, a high-level arrangement from which New Zealand is already developing both high performance and community sport outcomes. I will seek a call with Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Kōichi Hagiudato, to discuss our work on these matters. I will also seek a call with the Minister for Olympic and Paralympic Games, Seiko Hashimoto, and attend functions with the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) and BlackGold (a joint NZOC/High Performance Sport NZ philanthropic initiative that supports New Zealanders achieving on the world stage).
9I will also use this visit to promote Japanese investment into New Zealand. It is my intention to host a working lunch with senior representatives of key Japanese corporate investors as well as attend the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) Investment Seminar on 25 October, to promote ‘greenfields’ investments into New Zealand.