A report commissioned by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to help New Zealand businesses break into the Japanese market has found that Kiwis can be seen as "unsophisticated" and "rugged" in Japan.
The Through the Japan Looking Glass Study discovered that Japanese people were not as interested in New Zealand as Chinese or Americans.
It was conducted through a private public partnership between the NZTE, Nathan Farmer of Big Picture Research and Seven Seas Marketing Research.
"Although Japan is one of our biggest trading partners, with bilateral trade of around $7.6 billion in the 12 months to March, 2017, there is a lot of room for growth," the report said.
According to the report New Zealanders could come across as "casual and rugged", which is not seen as a benefit in Japan.
However it's not all bad news, with the report finding that while Japan may have some reservations with New Zealand the country also respects Kiwis.
"We are already starting from a positive place in Japanese minds, particularly because of our integrity, a valuing of Māori culture, the natural environment, and our superior ball handling skills (the All Blacks are held in very high esteem)," the report said.