29 April 2022 at 9:30 am

Delegation promotes NZ in Japan

The recent visit to Singapore and Japan by a delegation from New Zealand, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, included three events in Japan with a specific focus on international education.

Working Holiday Visa. PM posing with students
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with former working holiday visa holders at Cookie Time's Harajuku (Tokyo) store.

Arrangement with Japan Women’s University 

An Education Cooperation Arrangement with Japan Women’s University (JWU) was signed on 22 April by Dr Ryoko Imaichi, Chancellor, Japan Women’s University Educational Corporation, and Grant McPherson on behalf of Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao.  The Prime Minister was also present and spoke at the event.

Image above: From left, Grant McPherson, ENZ, Dr Ryoko Imaichi, Chancellor, Japan Women’s University Educational Corporation, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Professor Satoko Shinohara, President, Japan Women’s University, Misa Kitaoka, Director of Education – Japan, ENZ

The partnership with JWU will see more students from the university and its four affiliated schools come to study in New Zealand. Eleven university and school students from the JWU network attended the signing ceremony and spoke with the Prime Minister about their pre-COVID 19 experiences travelling to New Zealand.  

This event came shortly after the Prime Minister met with her former homestay sister from over 30 years ago. The homestay sister also attended the signing ceremony, where the Prime Minister spoke about her personal experience of international education, including hosting homestay students in New Zealand and studying abroad at Arizona State University.  

“Like Japan, New Zealand is a long island nation from north to south, and while being influenced by diverse cultures, I deeply sympathize with the historical background that has led to the present. Moreover, the current New Zealand society, which embodies world-leading sustainability, should be a great learning experience for our students, Professor Satoko Shinohara, President of Japan Women’s University, said. 

In Japan, there is a strong focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals at the national and institutional level. Gender equality has received more emphasis in recent years and the new arrangement is timely for many reasons, as New Zealand and Japan focus on reconnecting to look towards the future.


Relaunch of Game On English

The Prime Minister, alongside the President of Fonterra Japan, Yasuhiro Saito, and the Commissioner from Japan Sports Agency, Mr Koji Murofushi, relaunched the Game On English programme that had been paused due to COVID-19. The 2022 phase of Game On will see female rugby players travel to Hamilton to study English and receive high-performance rugby training, sponsored by Fonterra.  

Originally launched in 2014, during former Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to New Zealand, Game On English was an initiative that allowed New Zealand to support Japan’s efforts to lift international skills and English language capability while also supporting rugby skills development in the lead up to the Olympics and Rugby World Cup 2019. More than 195 female and male high school rugby players have visited New Zealand to participate in the three-to-four-week programme.

Image above: Prime Minister Ardern speaks at Chichibuya Stadium in Tokyo on 22 April 2022 to support the relaunch of Game On English for female rugby players to study English and receive rugby training.


Working Holiday Scheme students

Former Working Holiday Scheme participants from Japan were invited to an event held at Cookie Time Harajuku (Tokyo) store. Several students spoke about their work or study experience, and a recurring theme was how New Zealand changed their life. Working Holiday visa holders from any country can study for up to six months while on a working holiday visa in New Zealand.

Image above: Prime Minister Ardern speaks to former working holiday visa holders about their work and study in New Zealand.

There has been extensive media coverage of all three events in Japan, including via national newspapers and TV stations. This coverage will support ENZ’s promotional activities before the New Zealand border reopens on 2 May 2022 to short-term students from Japan, as a visa-waiver country.  

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