An international business group is welcoming a move to improve trade between New Zealand and Japan.
The New Zealand and Japanese governments have announced a joint officials working group to improve trade and investment, possibly extending to a free trade agreement, like the one with China.
Japan is already New Zealand's third-biggest export and fourth-biggest import market. Total trade is worth $NZ7.4 billion.
The New Zealand International Business Forum says a free trade agreement would help develop new business, as well as protecting current trade. It says an agreement would also help overcome high tariffs paid by dairy exporters to Japan.
The forum has already arranged meetings in Japan and is planning more.