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Friday, 26 November 1965

Mr McEWEN - In discussing the items of trade in Japan, it became clear, as I and others have known, that the Japanese are not, by and large, drinkers of the type of wine that we produce. There is but a modest importation of Australian wine and brandy and I could not hold hopes, in my own judgment, that there will be a substantial increase in the importation to Japan of Australian wine or brandy, or a very big increase in the importation of canned fruit, because Japan is a very big exporter of certain types of canned fruit, particularly mandarins. There has been a very heartening expansion of the importation of Australian cheese. I had discussions about butter, in respect of which our prospects do not appear to be good, but I am hopeful that these may be improved.

The great opportunities for Australian foodstuffs in Japan are to be found, in the first place, in sugar and in wheat. I believe there will be a substantial increase in the exports of Australian beef to Japan. There is no limitation today on the importation of Australian sheep meat into Japan. These are the industries to which we can look for substantial expansion, but there has been quite a big expansion in cheese exports to Japan. May I observe that to conduct negotiations with Japan, the United States of America or other countries, I need to have recourse to the argument that countries ought not to close their markets against agricultural products. This argument would be completely defeated if my own record were that I had closed this market against the importation of agricultural products.

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