How New Zealanders view Japan - latest research

With Minister of Foreifn Affairs and Trade Winston Peters in Japan at the moment, we thought it would be timely to share some findings from our latest Perceptions of Asia research report highlighting how Kiwis perceive Japan.

1.  Japan is New Zealand’s best friend in Asia. In fact, three quarters of New Zealanders consider Japan to be a friend to this country.

54% of New Zealanders see Japan as a friend - 21% see it as a close friend

2.  New Zealanders see Japan as a peaceful nation with many shared interests. Both countries are in earthquake zones and have helped each other in times of crisis. New Zealanders think that Japan has much to offer when it comes to technology.

3.  70 percent of New Zealanders see Japan as important or very important to New Zealand’s future.

4.  When asked who in Asia they trust most to act responsibly in the world, Japan is ranked number one by New Zealanders.

5. It’s not surprising then that New Zealanders consider Japan to be New Zealand’s most important security and defence partner in Asia.

6. Japan is the Asian country New Zealanders feel they know best.

7. It also happens to be the Asian country New Zealanders most want to know more about. Over a fifth of New Zealanders said they most want to learn more about Japan.

21% of New Zealanders would like to learn more about Japan.

8.  The main reasons why New Zealanders want to learn more about Japan are:

9.  Although it’s not the Asian country most frequented by New Zealanders (that title belongs to Singapore), it is the one we most want to visit: Two thirds of New Zealanders say they’d like to visit Japan.

10.  A lucky 32 percent of the New Zealanders who have traveled to Asia have already been to Japan.

For more on how New Zealanders are viewing Asia and the places and peoples within it, see our 27th New Zealanders Perceptions of Asia and Asian Peoples report out Tuesday 18 June. 


New Zealand and Japan: To our future

New Zealanders report they feel warmer to Japan than any other Asian country, Asia New Zealand Foundation research has consistently shown, which is why we commissioned a report on the Japan-New Zealand relationship.

Written by Professor David Capie, the report New Zealand and Japan: To our future highlights how the Japan-New Zealand relationship has evolved and the potential to grow it in the future. It includes a short history of the relationship; facts and figures; and case studies about individuals, organisations and businesses who represent the many strands of the relationship.

The report questions whether New Zealand has let its relationship with Japan drift in recent years amid trade differences, and in shifting attention to the booming China market.

However, it also suggests we may be at an inflection point in the relationship. Social, economic, geopolitical and environmental factors could lead to broader and deeper engagement.

Read the full report on our website.

More New Zealand - Japan connections

There's plenty of other experiences and stories that have played a part in strengthening the connections between New Zealand and Japan and have influenced New Zealanders' perceptions of Asia. 

Read more: