New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Japan will be career diplomat Mark Sinclair, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced today.
"The special relationship between Japan and New Zealand was most evident this year as we came to each other's aid following major disasters," Mr McCully said.
“This appointment comes at an important time in our relationship with our two countries celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2012.
"The Ambassador's role will be focused on the progress of our trade relationship, either through a multilateral trade agreement such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or through a bilateral Free Trade Agreement."
Mr Sinclair is currently New Zealand's lead negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. As confirmed by Trade Minister Tim Groser today, the next lead negotiator will be Dr David Walker.
A Japan specialist in the early part of his career, Mr Sinclair has served in Honiara, Canberra and Geneva, and as New Zealand's senior official for the WTO Doha negotiations.