11 Jul 2011

Co-operation hoped for as Japan, NZ rebuild

7:43 am on 11 July 2011

The timber and renewable energy sectors will explore potential opportunities in Japan, as business and political leaders from both countries focus on how they might co-operate in the rebuilding effort following devastating natural disasters.

The third Japan-New Zealand partnership forum gets underway in Tokyo on Monday.

The forum will be addressed by Trade Minister Tim Groser and Japan's State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yutaka Banno.

New Zealand International Business Forum executive director Stephen Jacobi says the communities have to be rebuilt in a way that is more sustainable for the future.

The use of wood in construction has already arisen in the Christchurch context, he says, and Japan has carried out advanced work in timber design, so there is work that could be done together.

Energy needs will also be discussed, and the renewed importance on sustainable energy, such as geothermal power.

Mr Jacobi says Japan is also grappling with losing ground against China and India, and whether joining the Trans Pacific Partnership might address that.