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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee
Report: Government Response
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Vanstone, Sen Amanda
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee
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- Start of Business
- KYOTO PROTOCOL RATIFICATION BILL 2003 [NO. 2]
- FOREIGN AFFAIRS: UKRAINIAN FAMINE
- CHRISTMAS ISLAND: MINING PROPOSALS
- SENATE: COMMERCIAL CONFIDENTIALITY
- CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
- CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
- CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
- FORMAL MOTIONS
- TELSTRA (TRANSITION TO FULL PRIVATE OWNERSHIP) BILL 2003
PETROLEUM (SUBMERGED LANDS) AMENDMENT BILL 2003
OFFSHORE PETROLEUM (SAFETY LEVIES) BILL 2003
FARM HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT AMENDMENT BILL 2003
- Second Reading
- In Committee
- Third Reading
- FINANCIAL SECTOR LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2) 2002
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS INTERCEPTION AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2003
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
Defence: Defence Capability Plan
(Evans, Sen Chris, Hill, Sen Robert)
(Colbeck, Sen Richard, Minchin, Sen Nick)
Foreign Affairs: Dr Mahathir Mohamad
(Ray, Sen Robert, Hill, Sen Robert)
Law Enforcement: Gun Control
(Macdonald, Sen Sandy, Ellison, Sen Chris)
(Faulkner, Sen John, Ellison, Sen Chris)
(Bartlett, Sen Andrew, Hill, Sen Robert)
Arts: Playing Australia
(Lundy, Sen Kate, Kemp, Sen Rod)
(Murphy, Sen Shayne, Macdonald, Sen Ian)
- Family Services: Child Care
Insurance: Public Liability
(Watson, Sen John, Kemp, Sen Rod)
(Faulkner, Sen John, Hill, Sen Robert)
Indigenous Affairs: Children
(Harris, Sen Len, Vanstone, Sen Amanda)
Customs: Illicit Drugs
(Bishop, Sen Mark, Ellison, Sen Chris)
Employment: People with Disabilities
(Ferris, Sen Jeannie, Patterson, Sen Kay)
- Defence: Defence Capability Plan
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: ADDITIONAL ANSWERS
- MINISTERIAL ARRANGEMENTS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS
WORKPLACE RELATIONS AMENDMENT (COMPLIANCE WITH COURT AND TRIBUNAL ORDERS) BILL 2003
WORKPLACE RELATIONS AMENDMENT (CODIFYING CONTEMPT OFFENCES) BILL 2003
WORKPLACE RELATIONS AMENDMENT (IMPROVED REMEDIES FOR UNPROTECTED ACTION) BILL 2002
- DELEGATION REPORTS
- LAOS: SEPON MINE
- AUSTRALIA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENTREGULATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
- SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
- EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TRAINING: ROAM CONSULTING
- KYOTO PROTOCOL RATIFICATION BILL 2003 [NO. 2]
QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
France: Australian War Graves
(Bishop, Sen Mark, Hill, Sen Robert)
Defence: Security Clearances
(Evans, Sen Chris, Hill, Sen Robert)
Attorney-General's: Military Compensation
(Brown, Sen Bob, Vanstone, Sen Amanda)
(Allison, Sen Lyn, Hill, Sen Robert)
Immigration: Parent Visa Applications
(Hutchins, Sen Steve, Vanstone, Sen Amanda)
Science: Chief Scientist
(Brown, Sen Bob, Vanstone, Sen Amanda)
Defence: HMAS Kanimbla
(Evans, Sen Chris, Hill, Sen Robert)
National Radioactive Waste Repository
(Allison, Sen Lyn, Vanstone, Sen Amanda)
Romania: Australian Mining Companies
(Brown, Sen Bob, Hill, Sen Robert)
Environment: Ningaloo Reef
(Brown, Sen Bob, Hill, Sen Robert)
- France: Australian War Graves
Thursday, 30 October 2003
Senator VANSTONE (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) (3:27 PM) —I present the government's response to the report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee entitled Japan: politics and society, and I seek leave to incorporate the document in Hansard.
The document read as follows—
Government Response to Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade References Committee Report:
Japan: Politics and Society
.1 The Government thanks the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade References Committee for its inquiry and report into contemporary changes in politics and society in Japan and their implications for Australia. The Senate Committee's report is a timely review of recent developments in Japan and coincides with the Government's own efforts to reinvigorate the bilateral relationship.
.2 The Australia-Japan relationship is strong and mutually beneficial. Japan is Australia's largest merchandise trading partner, and is likely to remain so for the next decade. Australia is a key supplier of coal, iron ore, aluminium and beef to Japan. Both countries have a proud record of cooperation on regional and global issues, and have institutionalised bilateral dialogue in over 31 different areas of the relationship. These contacts are underpinned by regular high-level political contacts, including by staging annual meetings of Prime Ministers (as agreed in the 1997 Partnership Agenda) and two-way ministerial visits.
.3 The governments of both countries have recently made major attempts to reinvigorate and strengthen these ties even further. Noting considerable changes in the regional and global economic and strategic environment and both countries' ongoing mutual interests, Prime Minister Howard and the late Prime Minister Obuchi agreed in 1999 to hold an `Australia-Japan Conference for the 21st Century'. The Conference, which was held in Sydney in April 2001 and addressed by Mr Howard, brought together leading figures from the public and private sectors of both countries. Among a range of recommendations, delegates agreed that both governments should take steps to upgrade the bilateral trade and economic framework, strengthen their cooperation and dialogue on security issues and increase cultural exchanges.
.4 Following the successful Australia-Japan Conference in Sydney, the Japanese Government hosted a follow-up meeting, the Australia-Japan Conference for a Creative Partnership, in November 2002. The Conference, which Mr Downer addressed, brought together eminent individuals from both countries across a range of sectors. Participants produced recommendations in the following areas: political/strategic; economic; e-learning as means of education exchange; and science and technology for the aging. We are currently following up on the implementation of these recommendations.
.5 Since staging these Conferences, both governments have taken steps to ensure that the momentum engendered has been maintained. Visits to Japan by Prime Minister Howard in August 2001 and July 2003, Mr Downer (in May 2001, November 2002 and May 2003), Mr Vaile (in June 2001, April 2002 and February 2003) and several other government ministers have sought to underline the value of the relationship and pursue appropriate mechanisms for strengthening two way contacts.
.6 This objective was advanced further on the occasion of the visit to Australia by Prime Minister Koizumi in May 2002. In their joint statement on 1 May, both Prime Ministers recognised the benefits and merits of the long-standing close ties and cooperation between Australia and Japan, and committed themselves to a range of measures across the bilateral relationship “in order to take maximum advantage of the tremendous opportunities and challenges of the new international environment in the early 21st century” (see Appendix I).
.7 Subsequently, during Prime Minister Howard's visit to Japan in July 2003, Prime Ministers Howard and Koizumi signed a Trade and Economic Framework agreement. The Framework is a comprehensive outcome that reflects the Government's strong commitment to further developing trade and investment linkages with Japan and sets a clear direction for trade and economic relations. The Framework includes a commitment by the two countries to work towards trade and investment liberalisation on a comprehensive basis. A detailed government-led study will be carried out by the two Governments into the benefits of trade and investment liberalisation between Australia and Japan and how to achieve that goal.
.8 The Senate Committee makes eight recommendations in its report. The Government endorses all of the Committee's recommendations. The Government's detailed response is provided below. All Commonwealth Government Departments and Agencies consulted in preparing this response are listed in Appendix II.
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO RECOM-MENDATIONS
Recommendation 1—Chapter 3, page 62
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government continue to work toward enhanced mutual understanding and cooperation with Japan on agricultural issues in accordance with the objectives of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda (see Appendix III).
1.0 The Government supports the recommendation.
1.1 Australia and Japan currently maintain a high level of dialogue and cooperation on agricultural issues. Consultations to discuss beef, grain and dairy issues are held regularly. Senior officials from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and industry representatives attend these consultations.
1.2 Separate consultations to discuss plant quarantine issues (which are held annually) and customs services (held biannually) are also scheduled, and include officials from AFFA, the Comptroller General of the Australian Customs Service, the Japanese Plant Protection Division, MAFF, and the Director General of the Japanese Customs and Tariff Bureau.
1.3 AFFA also has two officers posted to the Australian Embassy in Tokyo for the purpose of handling agricultural issues and to develop further the bilateral relationship with Japanese officials.
1.4 AFFA officers will continue to meet regularly with visiting Japanese industry delegations to exchange information on issues of interest and/or concern. They will also meet with government officials at regular formal bilateral commodity and quarantine market access talks and on a more informal basis.
1.5 AFFA will continue to develop its relationship with Japan and work towards enhanced understanding and cooperation on agricultural issues.
Recommendation 2—Chapter 4, page 84
The Committee notes that the Australia-Japan Ministerial Committee (AJMC) has not met since 1997, and recommends that it meet as soon as practicable in the new Australian Parliament following the 2001 election.
2.0 The Government supports the recommendation.
2.1 Australia has indicated to Japan its preference to convene the next Australia-Japan Ministerial Committee (AJMC) as soon as practicable.
2.2 The delay in scheduling the next AJMC reflects difficulty in coordinating the schedules of ministers. In the meantime, there has been significant Ministerial exchange and contact between individual ministers of both countries both bilaterally and at separate international forums. Combined, since 1996 the Australian Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Trade Ministers have met with their counterparts more than twenty times, reflecting the desire of both governments to meet wherever and whenever possible.
Recommendation 3—Chapter 4, page 87
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government take all practicable steps to increase dialogue at all levels between Australia and Japan and to develop further the close bonds between our two countries.
3.0 The Government supports the recommendation.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—Australia (AFFA)
3.1 AFFA has in place a range of mechanisms to further develop the relationship between Australia and Japan. A number of these are outlined in response to Recommendation 1. As well, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon Warren Truss, maintains close contact with his counterpart and other high-level officials in the Japanese Government, and visited Japan in January 2002 and again in July 2002.
3.2 AFFA will continue to develop opportunities for further dialogue with Japanese officials and industry representatives, including through visits to Japan by senior departmental officers, holding regular meetings with Japanese officials and industry representatives on a range of agricultural issues, providing technical assistance to Japan and having regular contact with the Japan-ese Embassy in Canberra.
The Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF)
3.3 The Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) will continue its work to encourage closer relations between Australia and Japan across a wide spectrum. It believes that mutual benefits accrue through deeper awareness of each other's countries and skills. The AJF monitors government policy and societal changes in order to identify opportunities and mechanisms to expand dialogue and alliances between Australia and Japan. The AJF is promoting bilateral dialogue by educating, informing, creating and facilitating networking and engagement at government and non-government levels. Through the delivery of targeted activities it also seeks to ensure that influential groups, such as teachers and potential young leaders are well-informed about the advantages of, and opportunities within, the Australia-Japan relationship and to engage Australians and Japanese in it.
3.4 The AJF conducts an ongoing program of seminars and forums which bring together Australians and Japanese across a range of disciplines to discuss issues of mutual interest. The AJF has supported the Australia-Japan Conference process. The AJF, through its strategic alliances, is also facilitating professional interaction among academics, teachers, teacher trainers, arts managers, biotechnologists, bureaucrats, young leaders, debaters and others.
3.5 The AJF's `Strategic Exhibitions Initiative' seeks to develop professional and institutional linkages for the future as well as delivering a contemporary image of Australia in Japan. The project is being developed with advice from a panel drawn from a range of arts bodies and institutions including the Australia Council and is coordinated by Asialink. The AJF with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australia Council and the Cultural Division at the Australian Embassy also operates AJAN (Australia-Japan Arts Network), a project which places middle-range arts managers in key Japanese organisations in order to develop links as well as enlarge the pool of Australians with a knowledge of how the Japanese arts scene works.
3.6 The AJF, as a Team-Australia effort, developed the earliest and most comprehensive Japanese language internet site on Australia. The site currently receives over 23 million file hits per year. The AJF is now reviewing and expanding its own digital presence, including the compilation of online databases on exchange opportunities between our countries in an effort to continue facilitating interaction between Australia and Japan.
3.7 The AJF facilitates the establishment of sister-city linkages and assists organisations such as the national secretariats of community-based friendship societies in Australia and Japan and the Australian Studies Association of Japan (perhaps the largest overseas Australian studies network outside Australia). It works with the Japanese Personnel Authority to place Japanese Government officials in Australian counterpart organisations for periods of up to five months and undertakes the recruitment process for the position of Australian Studies Professor at Tokyo University. The AJF also provides teaching materials and training on the use of these in classrooms to Australian English language teaching assistants participating in the Japanese Ministry of Education's JET program.
3.8 Japan's overseas aid and development cooperation policies and programs are of particular interest to Australia. The Government seeks to implement international best practices in delivering Australia's development cooperation programs and advance the national interest and will continue to increase dialogue and develop bonds with Japan in pursuit of this goal.
3.9 Japan is the second-largest bilateral aid donor in the world in absolute terms and shares Australia's interest in according high priority to Asia. Japan is the largest donor (followed by Australia) to the independent Pacific Island Countries (PICs), the largest bilateral donor to Indonesia, and the third-largest donor to Papua New Guinea after Australia and the European Commission. Australia takes every opportunity to stress the importance we attach to Japan maintaining a strong aid presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
3.10 AusAID already has a number of strong links with the Japanese aid agencies and participates in dialogue in numerous formal and informal forums. These links were affirmed in the meeting on 1 May 2002 between Prime Minister Howard and Prime Minister Koizumi where closer cooperation on improving development capacity within the region was discussed.
3.11 The Governments of Australia and Japan have held annual High-Level Aid Policy Talks since 1985. The Director-General of AusAID, Mr Bruce Davis, most recently met his Japanese counterpart (Mr Furuta, from the Economic Cooperation Bureau (ECB), Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in April 2003 at the OECD Development Assistance Committee, High Level Meeting in Paris. Mr Davis also met the former Director-General of the ECB, Mr Nishida in Paris in May 2002 and the Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr Yushu Takashima, in Canberra that same month. The talks provided opportunities to consult on regional development issues, and identify areas of possible collaboration on development efforts.
3.12 AusAID and JICA officials in Australia meet periodically to discuss cooperation on development programs in the Pacific. The discussions generally focus on areas for cooperation in technical projects.
3.13 The Australian Embassy in Tokyo has a designated Aid Policy staff member, who liaises regularly with the Japanese aid agencies—ECB, JICA, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and other Ministries that manage a portion of the ODA budget—on behalf of AusAID on aid policy affairs. Apart from regular information exchange and advocacy, we have in recent times focused on the reforms taking place in Japan's ODA system.
Dialogue on the Pacific
3.14 As Australia and Japan share a common interest in the continuing development of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the PICs, the two Governments continue to strengthen their dialogue on relevant regional Pacific issues. While there are a series of regular forums which allow the governments of Australia and Japan to discuss mutually beneficial issues (outlined below), opportunities for constructive dialogue also arise within other regional, donor or individual country contexts.
3.15 AusAID has been cooperating with JICA in the health sector in PNG for a number of years and has encouraged JICA to participate in the PNG Government's Health Sector Improvement Program.
3.16 Collaboration has also occurred within the context of AusAID's Women's and Children's Health Project whereby JICA has supplied refrigeration for vaccines. Other regular consultative forums include the South Pacific Trade Commission (Sydney) & the Pacific Islands Centre (Tokyo).
3.17 These two agencies both work for the shared purpose of promoting PICs' exports to our respective markets. Their private sector promotion activities have been mutually reinforcing and have provided benefits to private enterprise in the region.
Pacific Islands Forum
3.18 Dialogue in this forum led to the announcement, in 1997, of a joint regional initiative with Japan and New Zealand—the University of the South Pacific Telecommunications Network Project (USPNet). The project facilitates flexible learning and teaching arrangements through the University's centres in the region and was launched on 30 March 2000.
3.19 Following on from the success of USPNet (joint Australia/Japan initiative), recognising Japan's USD15 billion IT package to help address the digital divide, and the Australia-World Bank $1.5 billion Virtual Colombo Plan to address poverty through the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs), there is scope for further coordination in ICT in the Pacific.
3.20 Australia and Japan will continue to work together to provide targeted assistance to the University of the South Pacific (USP), this time, in the area of distance education. The Australian aid program has embarked on a three-year project focusing on strengthening USP's capacity to design innovative distance education courses. The AusAID Distance Education Project is set to enhance distance education in the University by re-vamping the institutional arrangements for distance education within USP, strengthening the roles of regional Centres in delivering distance education, training staff and developing new distance education courses. Similarly, Japan is preparing an ICT capacity-building project with USP focusing on distance education and also includes provision of equipment and construction of telecommunication infrastructure facilities. These two complementary projects will enhance ICT in the Pacific.
Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM)
3.21 Forum Economic Ministers have met annually since 1997 with the broad objective of supporting the Forum members' pursuit of sustainable development through developing appropriate policy frameworks and providing mutual support.
Post-South Pacific Forum Dialogue
3.22 Post-Forum dialogue enables the two Governments to strengthen their dialogue on Pacific issues, particularly on the management of natural resources and economic and public management reforms.
Pacific Donor Consultations
3.23 Discussion that focuses on economic and public-sector reform issues in the region have been held in the context of Pacific donor consultations (and occasional meetings of Consultative Groups) for countries in the region. The annual Pacific-donor consultations provide an opportunity to discuss development-assistance coordination and greatly assist mutual understanding of development issues and approaches in the region.
Pacific Island Development Partners Meeting
3.24 This provides a valuable opportunity every year for Pacific island countries and donors to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Dialogue on Asia
3.25 The Australian and Japanese Governments have a regular dialogue in a range of donor forums such as Consultative Group meetings and sectoral working groups, within individual country programs.
3.26 Japan is a critically important player in Indonesia. AusAID actively engages its Japanese counterparts in Jakarta on both a formal and informal basis. This engagement seeks, inter alia, to ensure consonance of policy approaches to key Indonesia reform issues, and has led to several initiatives such as co-financing the Management of Coral Reef Ecosystems project in Indonesia, together with several other donors.
3.27 As key donors, the policy dialogue between Australia and Japan on aid to East Timor has helped to strengthen success so far in achieving use of UN-assessed contributions for post-independence capacity building for East Timor's civilian administration. It has also played a key role in ensuring prudent fiscal management. Since the first donor conference on East Timor (Tokyo, December 1999), Australia has sought successfully to engage Japan as a major regional donor for East Timor and to complement the assistance of other donors. Japan pledged a total of USD100 million for 2000-2003, has become a major contributor to multilateral trust funds for East Timor and is providing major assistance in infrastructure, agriculture and capacity development.
3.28 At a regional level, both Australia and Japan continue to participate actively in APEC's ECOTECH Sub-Committee, as well as Playing significant roles in APEC's economic and technical cooperation activities. These forums provide opportunities for regular dialogue and acquired great significance during the challenges to the region posed by the Asian economic crisis. Japan was supportive of Australia's APEC Economic Governance Capacity Building Survey initiative which led to the development of a major package of economic governance assistance announced by the Australian Prime Minister at the November 1998 APEC Leaders Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. The Forum on Asia Insolvency Reform is also co-financed by Japan. Australia and Japan continue to have dialogue on key strategies needed to support the region's recovery over the medium to long term.
3.29 In a range of multilateral fora, such as the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and meetings of the Boards of multilateral development banks, Japan and Australia work together to promote the interests of developing countries in our region. Additional liaison occurs through ad-hoc bilateral meetings between headquarters representatives, particularly around the time of replenishments and on the margins of key meetings.
3.30 Japan's move towards closer regional cooperation in East Asia and its commitment to focus much more closely on social sectors, should provide greater scope for closer and more effective cooperation between Japan and Australia at a bilateral and regional level.
3.31 In 1999, AusAID undertook a mission to Japan to explore options for increasing linkages between the Australian and Japanese aid programs. One result of this mission was the establishment of an ongoing staff exchange program between AusAID and ECB/JICA. This secondment is an important part of AusAID's aid diplomacy strategy of furthering and deepening links with Japan as well as serving broader Australian government objectives of strengthening the relationship with Japan. Each year an AusAID officer spends about two months in JICA and one month in ECB so as to increase understanding of the Japanese aid system as well as to establish links with Japanese personnel. The program is reciprocal, with JICA officers also undertaking secondments in AusAID.
3.32 Australia and Japan continue to work effectively on development issues in the Economic and Financial Committee (2nd Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly. There is also effective cooperation between Australia and Japan on
UN reform and its impact on the performance of the UN Funds and Programs (UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNFPA), and
financing for development matters where we share a similar pragmatic view on funding realities and UN resource utilisation matters.
3.33 AusAID is currently supporting a joint study with Japan on “Future Financial Arrangements to Support Development in East Asia”, through the AusAID Development Research Program. The Australian government is contributing $A200,000 over two years (with the possibility of a one-year extension), the Australian National University (ANU) is contributing A$100,000 per annum, while the Japanese Ministry of Finance is contributing $A250,000 per annum. This study aims to
assess the scope for further financial cooperation, and how this might contribute to sustainable development
analyse the structure of policy dialogue in the region; the instruments, institutions and groupings that are optimal for regional financial cooperation; and proposals for common currency arrangements, including common basket pegs, regional currency units, and currency union.
3.34 The study seeks to inform and influence policy in regional economies through second-track diplomacy mechanisms. Workshops have already been held in Tokyo (June 2001), Canberra (November 2001), Sydney (November 2001), Beijing (March 2002), Seoul (September 2002) and Kuala Lumpur (March 2003). Another two workshops will be held before the study is completed in March 2004.
Follow-up to the Australia-Japan Conferences (2001 & 2002)
3.35 AusAID is also making a contribution to several of the priorities identified in the list of recommendations arising from the Australia-Japan Conference process
strengthened information exchange and dialogue on crisis response in the region through mechanisms such as the OECD's Peace, Conflict and Development Cooperation network, and the Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction networks
closer coordination on approaches to small-arms issues (for example, joint approach to UNDP in the Solomon Islands)
funding a joint study with Japan on regional financial architecture through the Australian National University (discussed above)
the launch of the Virtual Colombo Plan, a major initiative between the World Bank and the Australian Government that will use information and communication technologies to revolutionise the approach to international development on a global scale
bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism issues and on providing practical support measures for regional neighbours in transition.
3.36 Austrade manages a range of programs and activities to nurture stronger commercial linkages and further develop the close bonds between Australia and Japan. Austrade has sixty-one staff in six posts in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sendai, Sapporo and Nagoya. This extensive commitment underlines the importance Austrade places on Australia's trade relationship with Japan. Indeed, the only country that has a stronger trade representation in Japan is the United States. Over the last 3 years, Austrade posts in Japan have introduced nearly 2,600 Australian companies to potential buyers and partners in Japan, resulting in new sales to Japan of $2.3 billion. For the period July to May 2002, Austrade helped 523 existing exporters and 324 new exporters develop new sales in Japan of $1.4 billion.
3.37 Over the next 5 years Austrade will introduce a range of new Australian companies to Japan as part of Austrade's New Exporter Development Program. In the year ended 30 June 2003, Austrade's Japan posts assisted 74 new exporters to successfully enter the Japanese market. Although Austrade's posts in Japan will continue to provide assistance to all companies interested in entering and succeeding in the Japanese market, the sectors which Austrade will particularly focus on over the next 5 years include:
3.38 Austrade and JETRO (Japan External Trade Organisation) are jointly hosting a website that promotes the ICT and Biotechnology capabilities of companies from each other's country.
Food and Beverages
3.39 Recent health scares in Japan have highlighted the need for Australia to maintain and promote its clean/green image. The BSE scare in 2001 caused domestic and imported beef sales to plummet. Australian beef exports to Japan (valued at around A$1.5 billion in 2002) have held up comparatively well however, and many restaurants and fast-food chains are actively promoting the use of Australian beef on their menus. McDonald's, Mos Burger and Becker's use `Aussie Beef' in their meat patties in Japan.
3.40 The increased sensitivity of Japanese consumers to health scares and food safety provides an opportunity to highlight Australia's ability to supply safe and healthy products that consumers are demanding. Austrade's promotion of Australia's clean/green image encouraged Japan-ese hay importers to purchase 380,000 tonnes of Australian hay in 2000, valued at $146 million.
3.41 Food safety concerns have also made it possible for Austrade to promote the benefits of Australian organic foods through seminars and trade shows for Kialla Pure Foods; an organic lamb tasting for Bethungra Park Meats; and the introduction of Goodman Fielder to Nisho Iwai Foods (for the sale of GMO free corn grits) and to Ginrei Shokuhin (organic bread pre-mix).
Film & Television
3.42 Austrade Tokyo is highlighting the international success of the Australian film industry and has organised industry missions from Japan to visit Victorian and NSW film and television agencies as well as hosting an AusFilm promotion in April 2002.
3.43 In 2000, Ichigo Australia asked strawberry farmers in Hobart to try producing a juicier and sweeter strawberry variety, the Toyonoka, preferred by Japanese consumers. Japanese companies have also established noodle making and sake rice production facilities in Australia to service their customers in Japan. Emerging investment opportunities will be targeted in the areas of telecommunications, plantations and fruit and vegetables.
Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)
3.44 DEST will continue to use its strong relationship with domestic stakeholders and with a range of agencies in Japan in the education, science and training spheres to encourage the exchange of information and further development of the close bonds between Australia and Japan. Specific details of DEST programs in this regard are outlined in response to Recommendation eight.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
3.45 DFAT has made every effort over the past several years to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Japan. This is consistent with the Government's 1997 Foreign and Trade policy White Paper, which nominated Australia's relationship with Japan as one of our four most important bilateral relationships. It also accords with the recently-released 2003 Foreign and Trade policy White Paper `Advancing the National Interest' emphasising the ongoing importance of Japan to Australia's economic and strategic interests.
3.46 Much of this process commenced with the holding of the first Australia-Japan Conference in Sydney in April 2001, an initiative promoted by Prime Minister Howard and the late Prime Minister Obuchi. DFAT played the lead role organising and facilitating the Conference, which brought together leading experts from government, private, academic and non-government organisations. The Conference generated renewed momentum and purpose in the bilateral relationship. It recommended that governments consider a trade and investment facilitation agreement, strengthen dialogue and cooperation on security issues and increase people-to-people contacts.
3.47 In particular, the Conference gave strong support for close cooperation with Japan on events such as the despatch of its 680 strong peacekeeping contingent to East Timor in early 2002. As well, it supported close discussions on both nations' contribution to the coalition against terror and on counter-terrorism issues (for example, through the visit to Australia by Japan's Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Mr Hiroshi Shigeta on 5-7 August 2002). Similarly, it also led to the Department's Playing a lead role in establishing the inaugural 1.5 track security dialogue, held in Canberra in September 2002, and the holding of an inaugural Trilateral Security Dialogue involving Japan and the United States, in August 2002.
3.48 These enhanced levels of cooperation on security matters were also reflected in economic and other areas of the relationship. In close consultation with the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, in the wake of the Australia-Japan Conference, DFAT launched an active campaign to promote the merits of a new trade and economic agreement with Japan, while also providing support for activities which promoted Australia's credentials in areas such as education (such as the holding of the Australia-Japan Higher Education Forum in Tokyo in May 2002), information technology (through an Australian ICT industry delegation visit to Japan in October 2001 and a reciprocal visit to Australia in October 2002) and biotechnology.
3.49 The joint statement by Prime Ministers Howard and Koizumi, `Australia-Japan Creative Partnership' (refer Appendix I), during the latter's visit to Australia in May 2002, acknowledged the value of these activities to the bilateral relationship, as well as outlining various other areas for cooperation either at a bilateral, regional or global level. Most notably, the Prime Ministers agreed “that the two Governments would launch high-level consultations to explore all options for deeper economic linkages”. A series of meetings was followed by a report to Prime Ministers and the signing of a Trade and Economic Framework on 16 July 2003. The Framework reflects the Government's strong commitment to further developing trade and investment linkages with Japan and sets a clear direction for trade and economic relations. The Framework includes a commitment by both countries to work towards trade and investment liberalisation on a comprehensive basis. A detailed study will be carried out by the two Governments into the benefits of trade and investment liberalisation between Australia and Japan and how to achieve that goal.
3.50 In addition to the areas listed above, DFAT is committed to continuing close dialogue and cooperation with Japan on issues relating to the World Trade Organisation, people smuggling and the United Nations (particularly on UN reform issues). DFAT played a major role organising Australia's input to a second Australia-Japan Conference, held in Tokyo, 7-8 November 2002, and is coordinating follow-up action on conference outcomes. A meeting, chaired by AJC 2 Conference Co-Chair Jerry Ellis, to discuss implementation of recommendations was held in March 2003. The meeting was attended by Australian Working Group Co-Chairs and interested government agencies and conference participants.
Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA)
3.51 DIMIA facilitates the entry of Japanese to Australia through a broad range of temporary residence programs catering for tourists, business visitors, skilled entrants, students, working holiday makers and school language assistants. Entry procedures continue to be improved with the increasing use of the Internet for the electronic lodgement of visa applications. Japanese nationals have been able to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) through their travel agent since 1996. They can also apply for an ETA on the Internet (through DIMIA's website), and will normally receive immediate advice that their ETA has been granted. Japanese can also apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa on the Internet, as well as an increasing range of other visa options, such as visitor visas onshore, student visas and resident return visas.
3.52 DIMIA is currently working closely with Japan in addressing people smuggling and irregular migration, issues which impact on both nations.
3.53 Both Australia and Japan are committed to strengthening the international protection system. In January 2002, Japan pledged $500 million for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. In support of this gesture, Australia agreed to provide an additional $17 million. The aim of these contributions was to assist in reducing the refugee outflow from Afghanistan.
3.54 Japan actively participated in the 7th Plenary of the Asia Pacific Consultations on Refugees, Displaced Persons and Migrants in Ha Long City, Vietnam in November 2002; in the first Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, held in Bali in February 2002; and in the second Conference held in April 2003.
3.55 Japan indicated its willingness to fund some capacity building initiatives in the region as a follow-up to the second Conference. Australia, including through our Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, has been in close consultation with Japan to discuss the degree of its involvement. In general, these discussions have focused on
developing computerised border manage-ment systems and document fraud units.
creating an effective system for the regional, intra-regional and inter-regional exchange of information relating to people smuggling and trafficking in persons, and
running a series of regional workshops on improving various aspects of cooperation against people smuggling and trafficking.
3.56 DIMIA will continue its efforts to engage Japan with regard to people smuggling and illegal migration.
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR)
3.57 DITR contributes to the development of the bilateral relationship and dialogue through consultations on a variety of issues relevant to its portfolio responsibilities. Current issues of particular interest are tourism and close cooperation in the energy sector, including by encouraging Japanese investment in petroleum exploration and monitoring developments in the Japanese LNG market.
3.59 DITR's report on inbound tourism from Japan `Building Momentum: Japanese Tourism to Australia', released in June 2002, aims to encourage stakeholders to engage in appropriate levels of dialogue to ensure a sustainable level of tourism growth from this important market. The Minister for Small Business and Tourism, the Hon Joe Hockey MP, led a tourism trade delegation to Japan in July 2003. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss options for enhancing the bilateral tourism relationship and to generate high profile media and travel trade interest in Australia as a tourist destination in an environment significantly affected by the Iraq War and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
3.59 The Australia-Japan Tourism Officials' Talks involving DITR and the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, are an important part of the government-to-government dialogue under the bilateral tourism relationship. The Talks, which were first held in 1996, enable officials to discuss areas of mutual interest and potential conflicts. The next round of talks is tentatively scheduled for the latter part of 2003 in Australia.
Energy Sector Cooperation
3.60 Australia and Japan have a long history of government-to-government cooperation in the energy sector. The High Level Group on Energy Forecasts and Energy Resource Development was formed in 1985 and involves officials from DITR, Japan's Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) and industry representatives. The Group has met on 26 occasions, the most recent being in Tokyo on 6 June 2003. Australia also works closely with Japan in the APEC Energy Working Group (which includes representatives from METI and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and the International Energy Agency on issues of common concern, such as energy security and reform of energy markets.
3.61 In their May 2002 joint statement, the Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan called for enhanced cooperation in the field of energy bilaterally and in multilateral organisations and fora. DITR is looking forward to working with Japanese agencies to explore ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in this area.
Petroleum Exploration Investment
3.62 The regular release of offshore acreage is a key part of the Government's strategy to encourage investment in petroleum exploration and over a number of years a rapport has been established with key Japanese companies and agencies. DITR's assessment is this has contributed to the notable increase in Japanese investment in exploration and production in Australia during this period.
3.63 The 2003 release of acreage occurred on Monday 24 March. Accordingly, in cooperation with the Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC) and the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, a delegation from DITR visited Tokyo in early April for discussions with Japanese companies. DITR plans to continue this promotion as an annual event.
3.64 The Government is well aware of the key role Japan has played in the development of Australia's liquid natural gas (LNG) resources. Japanese involvement was crucial to the establishment of Australia's LNG project, the North West Shelf (NWS) in 1989 and all of the project's long-term contract LNG sales are exported to Japan. Recent new gas sales agreements with Japan have underpinned the expansion of the NWS and the construction of a A$2.4 billion production train and pipeline.
3.65 The Japanese LNG market is undergoing change. For example, the Japanese LNG buyer market has shifted from Japanese trading houses to direct sales to Japanese energy utilities. This shift, driven by Japanese market deregulation, requires close monitoring and ongoing dialogue with the Japanese Government in order to understand emerging developments.
Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts (DOCITA)
3.66 DOCITA continues to develop Australia's relationship with Japan at different levels and across a range of important issues. The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Richard Alston, visited Japan from 2 to 6 June 2002. The Minister had informative meetings with counterpart Ministers in Tokyo and a wide range of meetings with information and communications technology interlocutors.
3.67 On 20 June 2001, the Government announced that the ABC would be funded to establish an Asia-Pacific television service. The ABC will receive funding totalling $90.4 million over five years for the service. The service is currently available Direct-To-Home via satellite dish in Japan. ABC Asia-Pacific is working to establish rebroadcast arrangements in Japan.
National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE)
3.68 NOIE has conducted several exchanges on e-commerce and e-government issues with officials from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and private organisations including NEC, Hitachi, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation, and Meisei University. NOIE played a pivotal role helping to organise, along with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the New South Wales Government, a Japanese Government policy delegation to Australia in October 2000 to highlight information and communication technology capability in Australia.
3.69 The Australia Council has taken a range of initiatives and continues to look at new ways to increase dialogue with Japan. In particular, at both the Australia-Japan Cultural Commission meeting in Tokyo in February 2001, and the Australia-Japan Conference in late April 2001, the Australia Council sought new ways to reinvigorate the bilateral relationship. Specific areas in which there appears to be strong potential to achieve this include
youth arts and access initiatives
arts-centred regional development initiatives
arts and science/technology partnerships
translation and publication of Australian literature
major collaborative Australia-Japan arts productions
performing arts markets
international strategic development including new media arts and ICT
inbound cultural tourism
Youth arts and access initiatives
3.70 Both countries are very focused on youth issues, particularly with respect to the need for providing opportunities for creative self-expression by young people and ensuring access to cultural resources. The Council is examining opportunities which exist for emerging cultural leaders to meet, talk and plan with their Japanese counterparts, to set their own agendas and establish relationships that they will build on throughout their careers.
3.71 With this in mind, the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) set up a program of visits to Japan in May 2001 for emerging leaders, where they set their own itineraries. Individuals invited to participate included Marcus Westbury (ex LOUD / noise, youth panel), Melissa Chiu (Asian Australian Artists Association/Gallery 4A), Jason Yat-Sen Li, Gia Nghi Phung (AGNSW), Rea (indigenous visual artist and curator).
Regional development through the arts
3.72 Both Japan and Australia are currently very concerned with regional development, and how best to support communities undergoing profound social change as a consequence of globalisation, urbanisation and new patterns of economic production.
3.73 Both countries have developed new initiatives to revitalise regional centres through the contemporary arts. Examples include Global ArtsLink, a world-class cultural facility located in Ipswich, Queensland and Echigo-Tsumari Art Necklace, a 10-year-long regional revitalisation project for six small cities and towns in Niigata Prefecture.
3.74 In both these cases, contemporary art of the highest international standard is being used as the catalyst for community development. Communities and artists are devising joint projects that reflect that community's past, comment on its present and suggest new ways forward.
Arts and science/technology partnerships
3.75 Japan has a number of facilities funded by industry and/or government that provide studio space, high-end equipment and technical skills for artist residencies, in return for R&D benefits.
3.76 Australian artists have undertaken residencies at the Advanced Telecommunications Research facility in Kansai and have established contacts with the InterCommunications Center, run by the Japanese telecommunications company NTT, and Canon Artlab. The Australia Council is working to further develop the great potential for increased collaboration between Australia and Japan in this area.
Translation and publication of Australian contemporary literature
3.77 In 2000, the Australia Council and Australian Publishers' Association brought three Japanese publishing executives to Australia under the Visiting International Publishers' program. Despite its position as the world's largest market for printed material very few Australian titles have been published in Japan. The Australia Council pursued a project which saw a series of contemporary Australian literary works translated and published in Japan. Named the Bungei Shunju Australian Crime Fiction Project, the project has been a joint initiative between the Australia Council, the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and the Australia-Japan Foundation. Three popular Australian crime fiction authors were translated with 15,000 copies published and released on 6 December 2002.
3.78 The Australian writers were positively received by the Japanese media, with interviews and general coverage of the book release reaching a circulation of almost 8 million people across Japan and Australia. As a result, significant interest was generated around contemporary Australian literature and a promotional tour further consolidated interest in the individual authors who were approached to contribute short stories for a Japanese crime fiction magazine—Mystery Magazine. Collaboration has established a strong network for further development of Australian popular fiction into the Japanese market.
Major collaborative arts projects
3.79 The Australia Council, in conjunction with Asialink, has developed an Australia-Japan Visual Arts Touring Exhibitions initiative. The three-year program running until 2005 involves exhibitions of Australian contemporary visual art and craft in Japan. This is a major collaborative initiative that is intended to substantially raise the profile of contemporary Australian arts practice in Japan, focusing awareness on Australia's visual arts and craft and simultaneously consolidating new audiences and markets for this art form in an identified market. The program will feature exhibits in a number of prestigious galleries and museums including the Art Front Gallery, Tokyo; Hara Museum, Tokyo; Art Tower Mito, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and Echigo Tsumari Triennial.
3.80 This is a reciprocal initiative in which key visual arts venues, organisations and artists from both countries will work collaboratively to produce and exhibit the shows. The initiative will comprise up to 12 shows, including a mixture of large mixed shows in prestigious venues in Australia and Japan, small artist driven shows incorporating new technologies/ publications, a medium mixed show is regional Japan and a small craft exhibition touring to prestigious venues. The Japan Foundation and the AJF are also supporting this initiative.
Performing Arts Markets
3.81 The Australia Council's 5th Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) was held in Adelaide from 25 February-1 March 2002. An official from the Australian Embassy in Tokyo accompanied a group of 11 senior Japanese arts producers and officials to the market. The Japan Foundation and the Australia Council also co-hosted a luncheon for key Australian and international delegates to discuss work and network. The 6th APAM is planned for 23-27 March 2004 and is expected again to feature a strong Japanese presence.
3.82 As a result of the strong bilateral relationship developing from the market, the Australia Council attended the Osaka Performing Arts Market in Japan in August 2002 to give a presentation on APAM and the potential for future collaborations between Australia and Japan. This was followed by a visit to Tokyo that same month for further opportunities to meet key Japanese arts contacts and discussion around potential future collaborative projects.
“Ancient Future—Australian Arts Festival Japan 2003”
3.83 Presented by the Australia International Cultural Council (AICC), the “Ancient Future—Australian Arts Festival Japan 2003” has been designed to celebrate Australia's ancient past and dynamic future in Japan from July to December 2003.
International 3-5 year Strategy Development
3.84 The Audience and Market Development Division of the Australia Council is currently working on finalising an overarching business strategic framework in consultation with the Council's board and other stakeholders that will form the basis of future thinking, decision-making and activity in international arts programs for contemporary Australian arts over the next three to five years.
3.85 Japan has been identified as a key region within Asia in this strategy for the development of markets for Australian arts and for a focus on collaborative projects, particularly in the areas of New Media arts and ICT, dance and indigenous dance and music.
Department of Defence (DoD)
3.86 Japan and Australia maintain a steadily growing defence relationship. Over the past several years, the DoD has pursued a strategy of enhanced strategic-level dialogue and increased service-level interaction. Australia has regular strategic-level dialogue with Japan through Military-Military talks, Political-Military talks and single service talks for the Army, Navy and Air Force.
3.87 A recent highlight of Australia-Japan defence relations has been cooperation in peacekeeping, leading to the deployment of engineers from the Japanese Self Defence Force to East Timor to construct and repair roads and bridges. Legislative changes in Japan, particularly with respect to peacekeeping, will allow this sort of defence cooperation to grow. These developments are consistent with the Government's policy of encouraging Japan to make a more active contribution to international and regional security, at a pace which Japan is comfortable with.
3.88 The DoD will continue to work with Japan to deepen the defence relationship through increased strategic dialogue, continuation of service chief and reciprocal high-level visits, service to service contact and working level policy exchanges, staff college exchanges and regular ship and aircraft visits. During the visit to Australia in August 2002 of Japan's then Minister of State for Defence Gen Nakatani, he and Senator Hill agreed to develop an Australia-Japan Defence Action Plan. It is intended that Senator Hill will sign this document, entitled `Memorandum on Defence Exchange between the Japan Defence Agency and the Australian Department of Defence' during his proposed visit to Japan in 2003. The Memorandum will provide a symbolic framework for Australia's current and future defence engagement with Japan.
Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)
3.89 DoHA is taking steps to strengthen and further develop bonds between Australia and Japan through the Australia-Japan Partnership Agreement in Health and Family Services in the areas of aged and community care. DoHA has ongoing dialogue outside the Partnership on issues in population health, the administration and regulation of therapeutic goods, medicines and medical devices, chemicals, gene technology, and research.
Australia-Japan Partnership Agreement in Health and Family Services
3.90 The Australia-Japan Partnership Agreement in Health and Family Services was established in January 1998 to facilitate collaboration in health related community care between the two countries' health agencies. The first phase of the partnership focused on aged care and resulted in a joint research project, high level visits from both sides, and a short report `A Comparison of Aged Care in Australia and Japan'. The second phase, running over 2002-2004, focuses on community mental health issues.
Aged and Community Care
3.91 While in Madrid at the Second World Assembly on Ageing, the Minister for Ageing, the Hon Mr Kevin Andrews and other Australian delegation members met members of the Japanese delegation led by Mr Masahiko Otsubo, Vice Minister for Special Missions, Cabinet Office. The meeting covered such issues as
care at home
coordination of ageing policy in the Japanese Cabinet Office
older peoples' stays in hospital
older persons contribution to their care, and
separation of care and accommodation.
3.92 There was also agreement over Japan's wish to continue collaborating with Australia in regard to the development of teaching centres. Minister Andrews invited Japanese delegates attending the Sixth Global Conference in Perth in October 2002 to visit Canberra and relevant facilities in the Canberra region. The delegates express interest in examining services that provide innovative and cost-effective care but have not yet taken up the Minister's offer.
3.93 At the invitation of the United Nations Asian and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in Tokyo, a DoHA officer participated as a visiting expert at an international training course for three weeks during June 2002. The main theme was enhancement of community-based alternatives to incarceration. The course was also attended by judges, prosecutors, police and correctional staff from Japan, South East Asian and African countries.
3.94 Following a call for submissions from Japan, Australia has also expressed an interest in contributing to Japan's establishment of a new Japanese food safety agency. A written submission was prepared for consideration by the Japanese government, and an Australian delegation of senior officials from DoHA, AFFA and ANZFA visited Japan from 29-31 May 2002, for discussions with a committee from the Japanese cabinet office over the establishment of the new Japanese food safety agency and Australia's experiences in establishing Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
3.95 The Population Health Division of the Department is looking to establish links with the Japanese Health Department later in 2003 to develop policies and discuss developments with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human variant of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) and other Transmissible Spongiform Ecephalopathies (TSEs).
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
3.96 A Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and Japan signed in 1993 exists to enable the exchange and acceptance of information on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for medical devices and pharmaceuticals. This means one country will accept certification by the other that the manufacturers meet an acceptable standard for the manufacture of therapeutic products.
3.97 Informal agency level discussions were held in February 2001 in Japan between the GMP Chief Auditor of the TGA and the Chief Inspector of Japan regarding the renewal of the MOU between Japan and Australia.
Regulation of medical devices
3.98 Australia and Japan are both active participatory members of the Global Harmonisation Task Force (GHTF) for medical devices. The purpose of the GHTF is to encourage convergence in regulatory practices related to medical devices, promote technological innovation and facilitate international trade.
Regulation of medicines
3.99 There are ongoing exchanges between TGA and Japan regarding regulation of medicines, including complementary medicines.
3.100 In May 2002, officers of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare conducted a routine inspection of a clinical trial site in Sydney to see whether the site met ICH standards for Good Clinical Practice (GCP).
3.101 In March 2002, a Japanese Government and pharmaceutical industry delegation visited the TGA to discuss Australia's approach and the regulation of non-prescription medicines and complementary medicines and laboratory testing of therapeutic products.
3.102 In 2000, the TGA hosted a Regulators' Forum in association with the World Self Medication Industry (WSMI) and the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) as part of the 4th WSMI/Asia Pacific Regional Conference held in Sydney. An outcome of the forum was the development of a `Declaration' by participating countries, known as the `Sydney 2000 Declaration'. The Declaration will be revisited and developed further, to strengthen regional understandings and foster closer cooperation in the regulation of therapeutic goods in the region.
Regulation of chemicals
3.103 The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) has ongoing interactions with Japan concerning harmonisation of chemical assessment approaches.
Regulation of gene technology
3.104 The Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has been requested by the Japanese Government to complete questionnaires regarding how Australia gene technology legislation works and its coverage. It is understood that Japan is currently considering the need for similar legislation and has already introduced amendments to some acts to regulate the use of genetically modified organisms.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Internationalisation
3.105 The NHMRC is actively building a collaborative research network in the region, including interactions with Japan in science, technology and health research. The NHMRC also interacts with Japan at government level, through the Portfolio Strategy Division of the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), DFAT and DITR.
3.106 The NHMRC participated in the tenth meeting of the Australia-Japan Joint Coordination Committee on Science and Technology in June 2001, as a member of the Australian delegation. The Australian Health Ethics Committee's (AHEC) work in the area of human cloning and stem cell research is of special interest to the Japanese delegation.
3.107 Possible future relationships for the NHMRC are in strategic research collaboration in areas of mutual interest and benefit to both countries. This could be encouraging and facilitating Australian researchers to collaborate with researchers in Japan; exchanging information and experience in research policy and ethics, considering joint research in defined programs and sharing large-scale facilities.
Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS)
3.108 DOTARS maintains a sound working relationship with relevant Japanese Ministries. Cooperation and discussion on policy matters are advanced with Japan bilaterally and through regional fora including APEC.
3.109 An Australian delegation attended the Tokyo Ministerial Conference on Transport and the Environment in January 2002. During the Conference the delegation held bilateral discussions with the Japanese Government and industry on transport technology, rail reform, infrastructure development and pricing and international climate change. Australia assisted Japan in the lead up to the conference, including with drafting the text of Ministerial Statements on environment-friendly vehicles, transportation impacts upon the urban environment, marine pollution and transport counter-terrorism measures.
3.110 Australia maintains a good relationship with Japan in the APEC Transportation Working Group, on matters relating to maritime transport services liberalisation and port development and operations. Japan chairs the Maritime Initiative and the Port Experts Group, both of which are overseen by an Australian-chaired steering committee. Australia and Japan actively attend the biannual meetings of both groups and work together in building the meeting agendas.
3.111 Australian and Japanese aeronautical authorities share a healthy relationship which allows discussions to take place on an ad hoc basis as relevant issues arise. During 2001-2002, Australian and Japanese officials held discussions on access for Australian airlines to the new runway at Narita Airport and the use of `runway' slots formerly held by Ansett International by other Australian airlines.
3.112 Japan is also an active participant in the Air Services Group, which meets as part of the Transportation Working Group of APEC, and the Air Transport Regulatory Policy Panel on ownership and control (ATRP/10), which is convened through the International Civil Aviation Organization. Australia chairs both of these forums.
The Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS)
3.113 FaCS considers there is considerable merit in increasing dialogue at all levels between Australia and Japan in order to develop further the close bonds between both countries. In this context, FaCS is of the opinion that it has an important role to play, especially with regard to continued dialogue on social issues of bilateral concern. This might include population ageing, the payment of pensions, childcare, carers, youth issues, community services and development, and family relationship policy and programs.
3.114 FaCS is currently exploring its options with regard to establishing contact, leading to a formal relationship, with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Such cooperation could come under the ambit of the Australia-Japan Partnership in Health and Family Services.
Recommendation 4—Chapter 5, page 111
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government energetically pursue with Japan the development of a social security agreement of the kind it has with other countries.
4.0 The Government agrees with the recommendation.
4.1 The Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) notes that such an agreement would be of benefit to both countries, and has for some years conveyed its desire to Japan (including through the Australian Embassy in Tokyo) to move toward negotiation of such an agreement.
4.2 Recent written approaches were made in April and May 2003 by the Australian Minister for Family and Community Services and the Minister for Foreign Affairs to their Japanese counterparts, advocating the benefits of such an agreement for businesses and individuals from each country.
4.3 An initial round of discussions on a possible bilateral social security agreement was held in Tokyo on 8 August 2003. The Australian delegation conveyed to its Japanese interlocutors that a bilateral social security agreement was a high priority for Australia and would complement the bilateral Trade and Economic Framework signed on 16 July.
Recommendation 5—Chapter 5, page 115
The Committee welcomes the initiative to extend collaboration in community care under the Australia-Japan Partnership in Health and Family Services and recommends that the Australian Government continue to support the program of activities set up under the Partnership.
5.0 The Government supports the recommendation.
5.1 The Australia-Japan Partnership in Health and Family Services was established in January 1998 to facilitate collaboration in health related community care between the two countries' health agencies. Partnership programs to date have focused on aged care and community mental health issues.
5.2 The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) supports the recommendation to extend collaboration under the Australia-Japan Partnership in the areas of responsibility to the health and ageing portfolio. In addition, DoHA will collaborate with the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) in areas relevant to its portfolio.
5.3 The program of activities encompasses the following six core elements
joint research activities
expert group meetings
promoting communications and partnerships
placement of experts and officials
biennial high level meetings
promotion of the partnership framework to non-government organisations.
5.4 Current activities through the Australia-Japan Partnership Program agreed between both countries for 2002-2004 include a joint research project focussing on community attitudes to mental health issues, and a joint symposium on suicide prevention.
5.5 In line with the Committee's recommendation to extend collaboration between Australia and Japan, the Department of Health and Ageing will explore a deeper relationship with Japan through a more formal arrangement. This could be in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, with a three-year Plan of Action similar to agreements currently in place between Australia and other countries in the region.
Recommendation 6—Chapter 6, page 133
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, utilising the industrial relations objectives of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda, continue to consult with Japan on employment practices.
6.0 The Government agrees with the recommendation.
6.1 The Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda has, over a long period of time, facilitated constructive dialogue between Australia and Japan on labour market issues, particularly concerning workplace relations issues. Under the industrial relations objectives of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda reciprocal tripartite industrial missions between the two countries have been undertaken every two to three years. The agreement with Japan is the only formal bilateral commitment that Australia has which covers workplace relations issues.
6.2 The then Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Peter Reith, visited Japan in 1999, leading an Australian industrial relations visit. In January 2001 Minister Reith wrote to the Japanese Minister of Labour supporting the continuation of bilateral visits and indicating that Australia would look forward to hosting a visit from Japan within two years. The latest visit from Japan was from 4 to 7 December 2002 with a delegation of 12 people which was led by Mr Ichiro Kamoshita, Senior Vice Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. During this most recent visit the Japanese delegation expressed interest in the structural reform in Australia; relations between the Government and SMEs; reform of the public sector; industrial relation reform; employment programs for youth; mutual obligation; aging and the implications for employment policy and the reduction in the level of industrial disputes in Australia. The Japanese delegation met the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Abbott, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and representatives from the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.
Recommendation 7—Chapter 7, page 155
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, utilising the industrial relations and human rights objectives of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda, work cooperatively with Japan in formulating policies and setting standards with special reference to the human rights and employment conditions of women that could assist both countries.
7.0 The Government supports the recommendation.
The Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF)
7.1 The AJF believes it has a role facilitating bilateral interaction at a variety of levels which can have broader results for the relationship. Through its program of issues forums it is seeking to broaden the depth of dialogue and cooperation among organisations in areas such as employment and human rights.
The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR)
7.2 DEWR assesses that membership of the ILO and support of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda together provide sufficient opportunity to progress issues of mutual interest. Australia and Japan are members of the same regional group in the ILO, the Asia and Pacific Government Group, and both countries also participate in the Industrialised Market Economy Countries' Government Group. These contacts provide opportunities for the exchange of views on all labour matters, both in a bilateral and a multilateral environment, formally and informally.
7.3 As members of the ILO, Japan and Australia have worked cooperatively in setting international labour standards, including those dealing with gender issues. ILO members are bound by the 1998 ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work. One of its principles is the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
7.4 Another important ILO Convention relevant to gender issues is No. 156, Workers with Family Responsibilities, 1981. Both Australia and Japan have ratified Convention 156.
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)
7.5 HREOC is actively engaged with countries in the region, including Japan and acknowledges its domestic human rights work is enhanced by international contacts.
7.6 Like Japan, Australia is faced with the societal challenges of an ageing population and declining birth rate. The labour force participation rate of Australian women is similar to that of Japanese women, as is the proportion of female workers employed on a part-time basis in both countries. Women in both countries are faced with the dilemma of trying to combine a career and a family, a dilemma exacerbated by a pervasive traditional mindset that women are primarily responsible for child rearing and domestic work. While this mindset has been shifting in both countries, it would appear that it is more entrenched in Japan.
7.7 The Commission has expertise in workplace issues concerning women, viewing such issues as matters of fundamental human rights for women, and would look positively on any practical opportunity to exchange information and expertise with Japan on these issues.
Office of the Status for Women (OSW)
7.8 The Office of the Status for Women acknowledges Australia and Japan share common goals, including advancing women's full participation in society and promoting gender equality domestically and internationally. This commitment is reflected in their active participation in a range of United Nations and other fora addressing the concerns of women.
7.9 Australia and Japan are members of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Gender Integration (AGGI) which was established in 1999 to lead the implementation of the Framework for the Integration of Women in APEC. The goal of APEC is to advance Asia-Pacific economic dynamism and sense of community. The aim of the Framework is to increase women's participation in APEC's work towards these goals through integration of gender into APEC activities and economies. AGGI disbanded at the end of 2002. A Gender Focal Point Network has been established to succeed AGGI and provide a sustainable mechanism to continue integration of gender considerations in APEC. Both Japan and Australia will contribute to AGGI follow up activities, including development of the Network.
7.10 Japan and Australia are members of the APEC Women Leaders Network (WLN). The WLN aims to increase women's involvement in the work of APEC and ensure that the interests of business women are well represented in the region. In 2001, Australia raised the profile and significantly expanded the role of the WLN to ensure more effective outcomes for women in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Recommendation 8—Chapter 8, page 170
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government continue to collaborate with Japan on the education objectives of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda, these being
through sharing information on policies and programs on education
through greater exchanges of personnel in the education sector, including staff of boards of education and school boards, university administrators, students, teachers, academics and government officials, and
through increased university-based research and development and expanded exchange of researchers.
8.0 The Government supports the recommendation.
Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF)
8.1 The AJF has a long history of involvement in educational exchange with Japan, initially through Japanese language and Japan cultural studies and now through Australian studies and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) activities in Japan. Successful activities in these areas have resulted from working closely with the Japanese Ministry of Education and affiliated professional educational associations in the development stages and by responding to educational policy changes in Japan.
8.2 The Australian Resource Centre in Tokyo serves as the main access point in Japan for information on Australia and the Australia-Japan relationship in English and Japanese. This asset underpins and supports the exchange of information between educators and is a highly valued resource within the educational sectors.
8.3 The AJF has also taken a leading role in exposing Japanese educators to various aspects of the Australian education system. Teams of teachers, prefectural Board of Education representatives and Ministry officials have visited Australia and met with counterparts as part of the development and implementation of the Discovering-Australia educational kit for schools.
8.4 The development of these resources for Japanese students has assisted the flow of information about education policy and programs in a highly practical way. An English version of the resource, originally designed as a demonstration model in Australia, is now being used by Australian English teaching assistants in Japan and by Japanese English language teachers. The AJF is currently developing a third edition of the Discovering-Australia kit.
8.5 The AJF has developed an `Experience Australia' kit in response to the introduction of integrated studies into Japanese primary schools in April 2002, engaging teachers from both countries in the selection of content and development of a teachers' manual. To further update the kit, the AJF has engaged a professional educational association from Australia to consult with Japanese educators on its relevance to the curriculum.
8.6 In anticipation of changes to English language teaching policy in Japan, a Train-the-Trainer course on TEFL methodology, communication and English language skills was introduced. This program has provided teacher trainers from every Japanese prefecture the chance to learn about Australian pedagogy and methodology and has raised the level of understanding and contact among educators from both countries.
8.7 The AJF is keen to encourage research and collaboration between Australian and Japanese academics. An awards scheme initiated in 2001 provides opportunities for academics to collaborate on the development of university curriculum, joint research projects and the production of publications, whilst young researchers are nurtured through post-graduate study opportunities in Australia. The AJF's support of Australian studies also enables Australian academics with particular expertise to travel to Japan to participate in teaching and research activities.
8.8 The AJF's initiation of an online studies bulletin has also encouraged collaboration between Japanese and Australian academics. It provides updates on developments in studies of Australia, including events, conferences and academic meetings, scholarships and funding opportunities, recent key publications, Australian studies centres in Australia, Australian academic societies and associations, special features, links and information on academic life in Australia. The online studies bulletin is coordinated from the AJF in Tokyo.
Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)
8.9 DEST is already extensively involved in implementing the education objectives of the Australia-Japan Partnership Agenda and will continue to seek practical and creative ways to meet these objectives.
Bilateral Education Relationship
8.10 Australia recognises that a strong education relationship with Japan underpins many aspects of the overall bilateral relationship. Australia and Japan enjoy a strong government-to-government programme in education matters which is enhanced by the partnership that exists between DEST and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). DEST will continue to play an active role in developing and supporting a range of programmes to expand and deepen Australia's engagement with Japan.
8.11 Australia takes a keen interest in working with Japan in areas where Australia's experience and expertise can be of assistance to Japan as it implements its education reform agenda. DEST is active in building linkages with education bodies at both national and prefectural levels of government, to identify new areas of co-operation. The relationship between DEST and MEXT has continued to expand over recent years, based on mutual benefit and reciprocity, and has been developed at senior official and working levels.
8.12 The Japan-Australia Higher Education Forum, held in Tokyo in May 2002, brought together the leaders of Australian and Japanese universities to look at areas to co-operate and collaborate in the future. The Forum was the first major meeting of Australian Vice-Chancellors and Japanese University Presidents, and included high-level Government and academic representatives from Australia and Japan. Both sides agreed that understanding and learning about each other's countries and capabilities, highlighted during such forums, increased the opportunity to identify areas to expand exchange programmes. The agreement to hold a second forum in Australia in 2004, to set out clearly concrete ways Australian and Japanese universities should be co-operating, demonstrates the commitment from both sides to view the relationship as important and of mutual benefit.
8.13 DEST maintains an Education and Training Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo as part of the Department's overseas network of Counsellors. The Counsellor facilitates government-to-government activities, and the promotion of Australia's education services. The placement of the Counsellor in Tokyo reflects Australia's commitment to strengthening links between the Australian and Japanese education and training communities, along with an emphasis on sharing information on policies and programmes in education.
8.14 DEST also has a close, interactive relationship with the Japanese Embassy in Australia, which is integral to maintaining the education relationship. DEST participates on the selection panels for MEXT Scholarships and the JET programme, and assists the Japanese Embassy with requests for specific information on Australia's education and training system. Representatives of the Embassy and DEST worked together to ensure that the visit to Australia in May 2002 by Vice-Minister Mr Motoyuki Ono, MEXT's most senior official, was a success.
8.15 DEST and MEXT continue to run a successful staff exchange programme. To date, seven officers from each Department have participated in this exchange programme, which has contributed to the development of a strong and active relationship between the two countries since 1996. The staff exchange programme provides a deeper understanding of key issues in terms of policy development, and assists our efforts to work towards Australia's goals in APEC of participating in regional dialogue and policy development in education, science and training. There is also a flow-on effect to the Japanese education system from Japanese policy makers spending time in Australia.
8.16 According to an Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee survey, in 2001 there were 334 formal cooperative agreements with Japanese universities in effect. This represented an increase of 73 per cent over the number of agreements in place in 1997, and Japan was ranked as Australia's third highest country in terms of formal agreements between overseas higher education institutions and Australian universities.
8.17 DEST provides funding to support a number of award and exchange programmes with Japan. In 2001-02, the Department made available funding for up to two Australia-Asia Scholarships and up to two Australia-Asia Fellowships for Japanese students and researchers. In addition to these awards, which are specifically for Japanese scholars, the Department provides a general scholarship programme for overseas students based on merit selection.
8.18 The International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) Scheme provides 310 new scholarships each year and enables international students to undertake a postgraduate research qualification in Australia and gain experience with leading Australian researchers. Japanese students have participated in the IPRS since 1986. In recent years 4 were awarded to Japanese in 2000, seven in 2001 and two in 2002.
8.19 Under the Australia-Japan Agreement on Cooperation in Research and Development in Science and Technology, Joint Consultative meetings are held every two years, bringing together representatives from both sides to share information and discuss policies and programmes in relation to science and technology. These meetings involve the participation of a wide range of agencies involved in science and technology. DEST expects that education will continue to be relevant to the agenda of these meetings and the opportunity will remain to incorporate it into future consultations.
8.20 Outside the Joint Consultation process, DEST maintains a regular dialogue with our Japanese partner agencies on developments in science and technology and any potential influence on the relationship.
8.21 Arising from the last Joint Consultations, held in Canberra in June 2001, was the agreement to hold a series of Australia-Japan `Frontiers of Science and Technology' symposia. The symposia bring together a small group (10-12 people) of high-level, strategically placed researchers to discuss specific areas of interest under broad science or technology-related topics. The intention is that these researchers have the opportunity to form networks, identify opportunities for collaboration and showcase Australia's capabilities and resources in that particular field. In July 2001 DEST funded 10 Australians to travel to Japan for the Frontiers of Science & Technology Symposia—Nanotechnology, to meet Japanese experts in the field. In May 2002 funding was also provided for the 5th Australia-Japan Symposium on Drug Design and Discovery. The Australia-Japan Biomedical Symposia, was held in Melbourne in February 2003. Future symposia are expected to build on these subject areas.
Multilateral Education Relationship
8.22 Japan and Australia are active participants in the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group, which looks at issues concerning primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education, managerial and executive development, and labour market issues. Japan hosted the 4th meeting of HRD Ministers in September 2001, under the theme, Human Resources Development for both the Advancement of Society and Economy and the Sharing of Prosperity with People, in the Context of Globalisation. Given the focus on labour market issues, Australia was represented at this meeting by DEWR.
8.23 Japan also participated in the DEST-led APEC-Engineer project, which developed a framework to facilitate mobility for professional engineers by reducing or eliminating assessment requirements for licensing/registration. Japan is currently authorised to operate an APEC register of engineers. Japan is also participating in the DEST-led APEC-Architect project, which is modelled on the successful APEC-Engineer project. The project commenced in 2001.
8.24 Japan participated in the Australia-New Zealand project “Identification of Measures Affecting Trade and Investment in Education Services”, which was conducted within the APEC Group on Services. The project report was finalised in January 2001. The outcomes of the project will assist economies' preparations for the World Trade Organisation negotiations on education services.
8.25 Like Australia, Japan is also an active participant in University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), an association of government, non-government and/or university representatives of the higher education sector. Its membership is open to countries, territories and administrative regions in the Asia-Pacific region. UMAP aims to enhance cooperation and exchange of people and expertise in the region through increased mobility of higher education students and staff. Short-term exchanges are the main means used by UMAP to facilitate higher education student and staff mobility. Under UMAP exchanges, tuition fees are waived and students receive credit towards their degree for study successfully undertaken overseas.
8.26 Under the Australian UMAP Programme, DEST provides approximately $1.4 million annually to assist Australian higher education institutions to establish UMAP student exchanges. In the 2002 round of the Australian UMAP Programme, subsidies totalling $292,000 were provided to support linkages with higher education institutions in Japan. Six projects involving linkages between six Australian higher education institutions and ten higher education institutions in Japan were supported. Subsidies covered six staff visits and the participation of 57 Australian students in the student exchanges.
8.27 Japan funds two types of scholarships to support UMAP exchanges. Under the `UMAP International Student Assistance', a one-off lump sum of 150,000 will be paid to international students undertaking studies for more than six months at Japanese colleges, universities, graduate schools, technical colleges or special training schools. Grants under the `UMAP Leaders Program' cover two months intensive formal study at undergraduate level (in English) at two universities, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Kyushu University in Japan. About 40 grants are expected to be made available under the Leaders Program and 20,000 grants under the Student Assistance scholarships. The UMAP International Secretariat is located at Tokyo International Exchange Centre, Tokyo Academic Park. Japan will host the International Secretariat until the end of 2005.
JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN
PRIME MINISTERS HOWARD AND KOIZUMI
AUSTRALIA-JAPAN CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP
1 MAY 2002
Recognising the great benefits and merits of the long-standing close ties and cooperation between Australia and Japan, based on their shared values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law and market-based economies, Prime Minister John Howard and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi today committed themselves to a dynamic and forward-looking relationship, in order to take maximum advantage of the tremendous opportunities and challenges of the new international environment in the early 21st century.
2. Both Prime Ministers recognised the importance of international solidarity in the fight against terrorism and acknowledged the value of each other's contribution to this effort. In this context, the Prime Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to support Afghanistan.
3. Prime Minister Howard reaffirmed Australia's continued strong support for Japan's permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.
4. The Prime Ministers expressed their determination to promote further liberalisation of global trade and investment, and recognised the crucial importance of the successful conclusion of a new round of trade negotiations in the WTO.
5. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to address the major environmental issue of climate change, taking into account both economic and environmental effects. Japan was in the process of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Australia would continue to work to meet its Kyoto target. The Prime Ministers emphasised their desire to work together to build a global climate change regime that included all countries.
6. Sharing the objective of sustainable development, the Prime Ministers stated their intention that the two countries continue to work together for the success of the Johannesburg Summit.
7. Both Prime Ministers welcomed the peaceful conclusion of the recent presidential election in East Timor. In particular, the Australian Prime Minister welcomed Japan's valuable contribution to the UN peacekeeping forces. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work together to help East Timor in its transition to independence and beyond, including by ensuring the continued success of the UN peacekeeping operation there.
8. Drawing on their strong record of cooperation in APEC, the East Asian financial crisis, the ASEAN Regional Forum, peacekeeping in Cambodia and now in East Timor, both leaders affirmed their renewed commitment to work together to meet regional challenges.
9. Prime Minister Howard welcomed Prime Minister Koizumi's vision of a “community that acts together and advances together”, as expressed by him in Singapore on 14 January 2002. Prime Minister Koizumi reiterated his expectation that Australia would be a core member of this community, and emphasised the contribution that Australia could make in this regard. The Prime Ministers stated that consideration should be given to regional diversity and the specific needs of other countries in the region. Furthermore, the two Prime Ministers highly valued the contribution made to regional cooperation by the existing frameworks.
10. The Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of working together to combat effectively transnational problems such as people smuggling and money laundering. In this regard, Prime Minister Koizumi congratulated Australia on successfully co-hosting with Indonesia the Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling convened in Bali in February this year.
11. Noting both nations' respective core alliances with the United States, they gave their strong support to United States' engagement and presence in the Asia-Pacific region, which underpinned regional stability. They reaffirmed their intention to work together to preserve the security environment in the region.
12. Prime Minister Howard reaffirmed his strong support for Prime Minister Koizumi's structural reform efforts, and noted the benefits for Australia and the world of a strong Japanese economy. Prime Minister Koizumi said that Australia's strong economic growth highlighted the benefits of structural reform.
13. The Prime Ministers noted the exciting prospects for increased cooperation across the entire relationship, as evidenced by the range of recommendations which emerged from the `Australia-Japan Conference for the 21st Century', held in Sydney in April 2001.
14. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work to strengthen further the bilateral economic relationship to reflect the dynamic structural changes now occurring in the two economies, including in response to regional economic developments and globalisation. The Prime Ministers welcomed the recent submission of proposals and suggestions from the two private sectors on ways to strengthen trade and economic linkages between the two countries. The Prime Ministers agreed that the two Governments would launch high-level consultations to explore all options for deeper economic linkages between Australia and Japan.
15. The Prime Ministers welcomed the expanding dialogue and cooperation between the two nations on security and defence issues, underpinned by their close strategic interests.
In line with the Joint Press Statement by Prime Minister Howard and Prime Minister Koizumi, the Governments of Australia and Japan will take the following specific actions to advance the Australia-Japan Creative Partnership.
High-level consultations on counter-terrorism.
Enhanced cooperation in the field of energy bilaterally and in multilateral organisations and fora such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and APEC.
Meeting between Australian and Japanese Environment Ministers in the near future to discuss climate change, including the Kyoto Protocol, and other international environmental issues of common concern, and to explore practical collaboration between the two countries on measures to address climate change.
4. United Nations
Increased cooperation with a particular focus on maintaining appropriate UN engagement in the legitimate needs of the Asia Pacific region. Closer cooperation in peacekeeping in the region. Continued collaboration on implementation of the Brahimi recommendations and the need for Security Council and other reforms.
1. Transnational Crimes
(a) People Smuggling
Joint efforts to follow up the outcomes of the Regional Ministerial Conference held in Bali last February, including the possibility of joint cooperation on projects requested by countries in the region.
(b) Money laundering
Closer cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Closer cooperation on advancing the APEC agenda, including promoting the WTO agenda, intellectual property rights enforcement, strengthening economic legal infrastructure and competition policy, enhancing the mobility of business people and furthering e-commerce, especially in the field of electronic customs and paperless trading.
3. Development Cooperation
Closer cooperation on improving development capacity within the region. Increased consultation and coordination of development assistance in the South Pacific, including on assistance to improve capacity building in response to regional needs.
1. Political Dialogue
Continued annual Prime Ministerial meetings and regular Ministerial meetings.
2. Economic Consultations
High-level economic consultations at the deputy minister level and working groups at the director level in order to discuss global, regional and bilateral economic issues.
3. Defence and Security
Visit to Australia by the Japanese State Minister for Defense Affairs at the earliest opportunity. Continued annual discussions aimed at advancing cooperation and understanding of each other's approaches to security and defence issues. Convening of bilateral 1.5 track security talks between academics and officials in their private capacity, to be held later in the year.
Endorsement of the Australia-Japan Higher Education Forum in Tokyo this month.
Exploration of ways to enhance the teaching of the Japanese language in Australia, noting the idea of Japan's JET programme.
5. Science and Technology
(a) Expanded dialogue in science and technology for closer research, cooperation and collaboration through government-initiated symposia.
Support for the Fifth Australia-Japan Symposium on Drug Design and Development in Nara, Japan, where Australian and Japanese biotechnology companies will meet and explore mutual interests.
Expanded cooperation between Australia and Japan on space matters, including the scheduled launch by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) of Australia's Federation Satellite in 2002.
6. Sister cities
A national level event to be organised by relevant authorities to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first sister-city relationship between Australia and Japan.
7. Australia-Japan Conference for 21st Century Appropriate follow up to the `Australia-Japan Conference', held in Sydney in April 2001.
1 May 2002
Commonwealth Departments and Agencies consulted in preparing the Government's response
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Research Economics
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Australia
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
Australian Customs Service
Education, Science and Training
Employment & Workplace Relations
Foreign Affairs and Trade
Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
Industry, Tourism & Resources
Communications, Information Technology, Arts
Health and Ageing
Transport & Regional Services
Family and Community Services
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
National Health & Medical Research Council
National Office for the Information Economy
Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
Office of National Assessments
Office of the Status of Women
Prime Minister & Cabinet
Therapeutic Goods Administration
Partnership Agenda between Australia and Japan
Recognising the breadth of the links and exchanges at all walks of life between Australia and Japan and wishing to promote deeper mutual understanding and cooperation across the diverse range of shared interests in the bilateral, regional and multilateral fields, the Governments of Australia and Japan, pursuant to the 1995 Joint Declaration on the Australia-Japan Partnership, are resolved to take the following actions:
1. Political dialogue
The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue their cooperative partnership through close dialogue at the highest levels, including through annual meetings of the two Prime Ministers and meetings of the Australia-Japan Ministerial Committee.
2. Security and defence
Recognising the expanding bilateral security and defence dialogue and the range of defence activities between the two countries and wishing to contribute to the promotion of regional security, the Governments of Australia and Japan will:
further develop their security dialogue through annual Politico-Military and Military-Military Talks and senior level visits, and
examine ways to increase exchanges between the Australian Defence Forces and the Japan Self Defence Forces in areas of mutual professional interest, including defence education exchanges.
3. Bilateral economic and trade relations
Recognising the strong commercial ties between Australia and Japan and building on the complementarity and growing diversification of their trade, the two Governments will further advance Australia-Japan commercial relations in the following areas:
(a) Promotion and facilitation of trade and investment
The Governments of Australia and Japan will:
actively examine the feasibility of developing mutual recognition arrangements on conformity assessment and certification, including by convening a meeting of technical experts in 1997,
enhance the existing cooperation in the area of customs to increase the efficiency of customs procedures,
continue cooperative arrangements between the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to promote exports to Japan, including improved collaboration on identifying market segments, promotional activities and events in Japan that best meet Australia's capability to supply,
cooperate on the electronic transfer of health certification data for meat by establishing an initial pilot program in 1997, and
exchange information on structural policy reforms necessary to underpin national productivity and economic growth, and on the contribution that research and institutional arrangements can make to the process of public policy development and community understanding of the benefits of greater productivity in all sectors of the economy.
(b) Deregulation and competition policy
In order to develop links between public policy planners, the Government of Australia will examine the feasibility of developing a program for a Japanese sponsored delegation of administrative reform planners to visit Australia to study the Australian micro-economic reform experience. The Government of Australia will also share its experiences on deregulation of the economy and the role of competition policies by examining the feasibility of holding a Japanese-sponsored seminar in Tokyo, possibly in collaboration with a university in Tokyo.
In order to achieve the full potential of the growing tourism between Australia and Japan, the two Governments will facilitate tourism development through holding regular Australia-Japan Tourism Discussions and working together, including with industry, to address perceived barriers to tourism. The Government of Australia will also examine means of further facilitating entry for short-term Japanese visitors.
(d) Housing and building
In order to contribute to the reduction of housing construction costs in Japan and promote two-way trade in this sector, the two Governments will cooperate to improve mutual access to their markets
by promoting the mutual acceptance of test data concerning building materials and mutual recognition on building standards; in this connection, both countries will consider the way to utilise CSIRO as a facilitator, and
by exchanges of information on technical, certification and related issues, including performance-based building regulations through meetings of the Japan-Australia Building and Housing Committee.
Given the central importance of the minerals and energy trade to both Australia and Japan, the two Governments will cooperate to ensure its continued viability. Both Governments affirm the value of the Japan-Australia High-Level Group on Energy Forecasts and Energy Resource Development as an important forum for the exchange of information and high-level policy discussion.
In recognition of the diverse and long-standing agricultural partnership that exists between Australia and Japan, the two Governments will continue informal dialogue on agricultural matters of mutual interest, in order to facilitate informal exchanges of views and build enhanced mutual understanding and cooperation.
(g) Employment and training
Recognising the substantial similarities of the challenges they face, the Governments of Australia and Japan will enhance cooperation through exchanges of government officials and the sharing of information on labour market policies.
Following the establishment of high-level dialogue at officials level, the two Governments will explore a range of issues, including infrastructure development, airport noise management, liberalisation of the international shipping market, substandard shipping and maritime safety.
4. Science and technology
With science and technology links between Australia and Japan growing, and recognising the substantial potential for increasing joint activities in this area, the two Governments will explore further opportunities for cooperation in a number of areas, including:
(a) Science and technology agreement
Australia and Japan will explore new areas of cooperation under the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Australia on Cooperation on Research and Development in Science and Technology. In this context, the two Governments will continue to cooperate through the Japan-Australia Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee.
(b) Information technology
In order to facilitate collaborative research between Australian and Japanese scientists, the Governments of Australia and Japan have confirmed their intention to establish a high performance computer and communications (HPCC) link between the two countries.
(c) Commercial application of scientific research and development
Recognising the growing diversification of commercially-based scientific research and development between Australia and Japan, the two Governments will explore increasing the commercial application of scientific research and development through close contact between commercial and scientific research personnel.
The Governments of Australia and Japan will pursue research into cancer and cardiovascular diseases through Australia-Japan collaborative research workshops and personnel exchanges.
5. Peaceful uses of nuclear energy
Recognising the growing importance of nuclear energy in regional energy use and the importance of cooperating to ensure nuclear safety in the region, the Governments of Australia and Japan will
cooperate and promote mutual understanding in relation to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy including through high-level discussions under the annual Nuclear Policy Consultations
support each other's efforts to develop an effective dialogue on nuclear energy issues, including within such forums as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Regional Cooperative Agree-ment for Research Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (RCA), the International Conference on Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (ICNCA) and successor conferences to the Tokyo Conference on Nuclear Safety in Asia held in November 1996, and
cooperate in the strengthened and efficient IAEA safeguards system and to ensure the effectiveness of nuclear export controls.
Recognising the rapid development of ties in education—characterised by growing numbers of students from each country studying in the other, the increasing number of students and staff exchanges, expanding links between Japanese and Australian education institutions and increased exchanges of government officials—the Governments of Australia and Japan will collaborate further
through sharing information on policies and programs on education
through greater exchanges of personnel in the education sector, including staff of boards of education and school boards, university administrators, students, teachers, academics and government officials, and
through increased university-based research and development and expanded exchange of researchers.
7. Industrial relations
With a view to promoting mutual understanding of respective industrial relations environments, the Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to exchange high-level Tripartite Industrial Relations Delegations between the two countries approximately every three years. Following the last Japanese mission to Australia in November 1995, the Government of Australia will consider sending a Mission to Japan in 1998/99.
8. Cultural exchanges
Recognising the importance of developing people-to-people contacts, the two Governments will continue their efforts to encourage cultural exchanges, including through the convening of the Australia-Japan Cultural Mixed Commission.
In order to commemorate a number of significant bilateral anniversaries between 1996 and 1998, the two Governments have developed a range of commemorative activities which are symbolically linked through a jointly-developed `Friendship Anniversaries' logo.
9. International policy coordination
Building on their close political relationship, the Governments of Australia and Japan will increase the coordination of their policies on key international issues, both in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. In this context, the two Governments will continue to work together in combating the global problem of illicit narcotic drugs through the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and criminal issues generally through the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, particularly on measures to regulate firearms.
The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to cooperate within such multilateral Frameworks as the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Dublin Group to combat the illicit production of, demand for, and traffic in, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and to coordinate approaches to find ways to address this problem.
The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to cooperate against terrorism within the framework of relevant international agreements to which both are parties.
(c) Money laundering
Endorsing APEC Joint Ministerial Statements by Finance Ministers which recognise money laundering as a priority concern for the region, the Governments of Australia and Japan will work together to promote the adoption of anti-money laundering measures by countries in the region as well as globally, through the Financial Action Task Force and the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering.
Given that Australia and Japan have similar interests and concerns in international environment issues, the two Governments will exchange perspectives and cooperate
on approaches to greenhouse gas emissions, including activities implemented jointly and other cooperative activities in the run-up to the third Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1997
on the outcomes of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Sustainable Development (UNGASS), and the discussions of the first meeting of the High-Level Committee of Ministers and Officials on the UN Environment Program (UNEP)
on biological diversity matters, including biosafety protocol negotiations, and the development of clearing house mechanisms
on protection of coral reefs in South-East Asia and the Pacific under the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), particularly through promoting implementation of the ICRI regional strategies developed for these regions
on approaches to the development of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs)
on regional implementation of the Global Program of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities
on the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy 1996-2000, with particular respect to the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network
on the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite-5 System project and generally in the area of geostationary satellites carrying out meteorological observations
on the Global Research Network System (GRNS) project to develop indicators of global change and create a human information network to improve global environment management
on the development of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research
by working together, in cooperation with other countries and the United Nations under the Global Mapping program, to promote the development of world-wide geographic data sets in support of natural disaster mitigation and global environmental and resource management, and
by promoting environmental education in the Asia-Pacific Region through the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Environmental Education and other actions on environmental education in this region.
11. Aid cooperation
(a) Bilateral cooperation
Recognising the commonality of their aid programs focused on the Asia-Pacific region, and taking account of complementary aspects of their respective aid programs, the Governments of Australia and Japan will strengthen their coordination efforts through regular High-Level Aid Policy Talks. The two Governments will consult on ongoing projects and explore opportunities to identify new joint projects.
(b) Development of the Mekong River Basin
The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate for the sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin. In this connection, both Governments will continue to work closely in the Forum for Comprehensive Development of Indo-China and note the useful dialogue initiated at the meeting of the Infrastructure Working Committee of the Indo-China Development Forum in September 1996 hosted by Australia and chaired by Japan.
12. Pacific Islands
As Australia and Japan share a common interest in the continuing development of the Pacific Island states, the two Governments will strengthen their dialogue on Pacific issues, including through the Post-South Pacific Forum Dialogue process, and will focus in particular on the management of natural resources; and economic and public management reforms. The two Governments will also cooperate in developing a strong private sector in the Pacific Island countries involving, inter alia, effective cooperation between, and coordination of, activities of the Pacific Islands Centre in Tokyo and the South Pacific Trade Commission in Sydney.
13. Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
The Government of Japan will continue to support firmly Australia's participation in Asia-Europe Meetings.
14. Regional strategic and security cooperation
The Governments of Australia and Japan are committed to building with countries in the region a sense of trust, of shared interest, and of shared responsibility for the region's future.
(a) United States' contribution to regional stability
The Governments of Australia and Japan, in light of the recent re-affirmation of their respective security relationships with the United States, and in joint recognition of the vital contribution the United States makes to underpinning the security of the Asia-Pacific region, will work together to sustain the United States' important regional role. This will be achieved through each country's alliance with the United States and by supporting the constructive participation by the United States in multilateral security dialogues.
(b) ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
Recognising the role regional multilateral security arrangements can play in promoting peace and stability, the Governments of Australia and Japan will
work together to further develop the ARF, including in the area of preventive diplomacy and approaches to conflicts, and to strengthen habits of dialogue, confidence-building and transparency which contribute to a sense of shared strategic and security interest among regional countries
strengthen the substantive agenda of the Inter-sessional Group on Confidence-Building Measures working to achieve practical cooperative defence-related measures, particularly those contributing to increasing defence transparency and the avoidance of a regional arms race,
ensure that, consistent with the newly-agreed membership criteria, expansion of the ARF does not detract from its focus on security in the East Asia/Pacific and that all participants are fully consulted on new ARF members,
encourage broad participation in ARF processes by defence civilians and military personnel, and
encourage the ARF, through its consideration of non-proliferation and disarmament issues, to contribute to global efforts in non-proliferation and disarmament.
15. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation
The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to work closely in support of global arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation norms, particularly in the area of weapons of mass destruction, including through annual disarmament talks and cooperation in relevant international forums, in the interests of enhanced national and regional security, and will continue their cooperation in promoting adherence to those norms in the Asia-Pacific region.
16. United Nations
(a) UN reform
Recognising the importance of strengthening the UN and the contribution that Japan can make as a member of the Security Council in 1997-98, the two Governments will cooperate to advance the reforms of the organisation in a balanced manner.
(b) Security Council reform
The two Governments will work together in such forums as the General Assembly Working Group towards achieving reform of the Security Council, including expansion of permanent membership. In this connection, Australia reconfirms its strong support for Japan's permanent membership of the Security Council.
(c) Financial reform
Noting that a solid financial base and sound and effective financial management are essential for the UN to cope with the challenges of the 21st century, the Governments of Australia and Japan will promote reforms in financial areas, together with reforms in other areas, in order to achieve in a balanced manner the reform of the UN as a whole.
The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate to promote the idea of a new development strategy based on a global partnership of all countries and to advance reform of the UN system by increasing its effectiveness, improving coordination among UN organisations and agencies so that their activities bring about tangible benefits to developing countries.
(e) Economic and Social Council of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Given ESCAP's special role in the Asia-Pacific region, the Governments of Australia and Japan will work together to avoid a division amongst ESCAP members, while promoting the implementation of a graduated approach to reforming the organisation which is sensitive to the needs of the developing countries in the region.
(f) Human rights
Recognising that democracy, development and human rights are inter dependent and mutually reinforcing, the Governments of Australia and Japan will promote consultation on human rights issues and explore effective and efficient ways of promoting human rights internationally through UN agencies and other forums, and through support of non-governmental institutions and arrangements.
(g) UN peacekeeping
The Governments of Australia and Japan will pursue opportunities for cooperation in UN peacekeeping. In particular, the two Governments will explore ways to draw on their experience in UN peacekeeping operations.
17. APEC issues
The Governments of Australia and Japan, reaffirming their commitment to a number of objectives and goals including achieving the long-term goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010/2020 as stated at Bogor and in accordance with the Osaka Action Agenda, will work together, inter alia, in the following areas:
(a) Facilitation and liberalisation of trade and investment
The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate
to continuously and substantially improve their respective Individual Action Plans (IAPs) by including measures which go beyond respective multilateral and regional commitments, taking into account the private business sector's views and requests
to develop joint APEC initiatives to support and reinforce the multilateral trading system under the WTO
to promote early voluntary sectoral liberalisation in areas which would have a positive impact on trade, investment and economic growth
to intensify work on enhancing the environment for investment, and
to advance APEC's trade facilitation agenda in areas of common interest, reflecting particularly the priorities identified by ABAC and the business sector.
(b) Economic and technical cooperation
The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate to further promote economic and technical cooperation in order to achieve sustainable growth and equitable development in the Asia-Pacific region.
(c) APEC Food Task Force
The Governments of Australia and Japan will also cooperate in further discussions on the APEC Leaders' Initiative on the impact of expanding population and economic growth on food, energy and the environment (FEEEP) as our long-term agenda, in particular as co-chairs of the Task Force on Food.
The Governments of Australia and Japan will expand cooperation in transport areas such as maritime initiative, the Electronic Data Interchange Project and the Road Transport Harmonisation Project.
Recognising that regional energy challenges will assume greater importance over the next decade as demand in many countries in the region is expected to rise significantly, Australia and Japan will cooperate closely on promoting better understanding of regional energy issues, mobilising capital for power infrastructure growth, mitigating environmental impacts concurrently with the enhancement of economic development, and reducing costs through cooperation on energy standards.
18. Cooperation on international trade and economic issues
The Governments of Australia and Japan share a common commitment to the primacy of the multilateral trading system under the WTO and recognise the need to strengthen it to promote further trade liberalisation and economic growth. The two Governments will work closely in pursuing an effective WTO work program following the Singapore Ministerial Conference, in particular a successful conclusion of WTO negotiations on financial services.
The two Governments share common interests in new WTO work on issues arising from the globalised economy such as trade and investment, trade and competition policy and transparency in government procurement, and will work together in the WTO and relevant forums to ensure that regional trading arrangements are complementary to the WTO and consistent with its rules.
The two Governments confirm their support for universal membership of the WTO and the early accession of applicants based upon commercially meaningful market access commitments while preserving the integrity of WTO rules.
The two Governments will also work together to ensure a substantive and forward-looking outcome from the 1998 WTO Ministerial Conference that further strengthens the WTO as a forum for negotiation and liberalisation of world trade within a rules-based system, particularly through the built-in agenda of reviews and further negotiations and the work programme agreed at the 1996 WTO Ministerial Conference.
Recognising the valuable work undertaken in the OECD on a wide range of economic issues of critical importance to Australia and Japan, the two Governments will strengthen their cooperation in, and coordination of, approaches to the OECD. Issues of immediate concern include administrative reform and better prioritisation of work in the Organisation. Both Governments will also strive to have the OECD give more attention to economic issues in the Asia Pacific region.
(c) The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to exchange views on issues discussed at Summits of The Eight.