From petrol stations to diplomacy: Building bridges through people-to-people connections with Dom Walton-France

Jandals in Japan

30-07-2023 • 1時間 21分

Embark on a journey of diplomacy as we delve into the role of the New Zealand Embassy in Japan. We speak with Deputy Ambassador, Dom Walton-France and discover how the embassy strengthens the relationship between our two countries through government connections, trade promotion, tourism initiatives and more. Dom shares his wealth of experience from his early days working at petrol stations and being a rafting guide in rural Japan to now being Deputy Ambassador representing Aotearoa New Zealand in Japan.

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In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Dom’s long connection with Japan and full circle moments before he transitions back to Wellington
  • How Japan and NZ complement each other through opposite seasons and specialties
  • The importance of long term people to people relationships for good ties between nations
  • The roles and responsibilities of the embassy in promoting and strengthening the NZ-Japan relationship

About Dom

Dom Walton-France is currently the Deputy Ambassador at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo.

He has a long association with Japan dating back to 1987 when he first visited on a 3 week sister city exchange. Dom lived and worked in Japan for close to 4 years in the 1990s in a variety of jobs including gas station attendant, part time rafting guide, ski-field worker and English teacher.

Dom has been working in the New Zealand public service for nearly 25 years in internationally focused roles based in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific. He served as New Zealand’s representative on the Board of the Asian Development Bank in Manila for three years from 2013-2015. He also spent three years as New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner to Tonga, and earlier in his career spent six years working in the International Team at the New Zealand Treasury. He is married to Hannah Walton-France and has 4 children who have all enjoyed spending time in Japan.


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