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Tuesday, 2 June 1970

Mr McEWEN (MURRAY, VICTORIA) (Deputy Prime Minister) - I have seen the report of the Japanese decision. Elements of the report have been published. The decision relates to the admission into Japan of citrus fruits from South Africa provided that they have been through a certain cold temperature sterilisation procedure which satisfies the Japanese from the quarantine aspect. The Government has been in fairly constant contact for about 8 years with the Japanese authorities on the matter of the admission into Japan of Australian citrus fruits and pome fruits. The Japanese during this period have made it clear to us that a procedure of sterilisation which they decide is suitable for the fruit from one country is not necessarily acceptable to them for fruit from another area. In terms of our understanding with the Japanese we are continuing to study what processes we may initiate or innovate which would have the effect of sterilising both our citrus and pome fruits in a manner acceptable to the Japanese authorities. I understand that there is a modest degree of hope in this regard but no earlybreak through is expected.

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