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30 years of friendship and co-operation with Japan.

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I am pleased to announce a new publication entitled: ‘Friendship and co-operation: the 1976 Basic Treaty between Australia and Japan’. It marks the 30th anniversary of the Treaty and is part of an Australia-Japan Year of Exchange.

It is the third volume in the series, Australia and the World: The Foreign Affairs and Trade Files, a series of short historical studies drawn from past working papers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Year of Exchange is an initiative of the Japanese and Australian Governments that was agreed with Prime Minister Koizumi during my visit to Tokyo in July 2003. The aim is to promote friendship, deeper mutual understanding and cooperation between Australia and Japan, in the spirit of the 1976 Basic Treaty.

I have been delighted at the level of interest shown in Year of Exchange events. Many hundreds of community activities as well as prestigious cultural events are taking place in both countries throughout 2006.

The Basic Treaty is the most comprehensive agreement of its type Australia has signed with any nation. It enshrines in formal and symbolic terms the friendship, community of interests and interdependence that exists between our two countries. It was signed by Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Miki Takeo on 16 June 1976 and came into force on 21 August 1977.

A desire to broaden Australia-Japan relations beyond a natural economic partnership lay behind the negotiation of the Basic Treaty. This publication shows how negotiation of the Treaty addressed and overcame potential difficulties and how Australia and Japan were able to agree to a treaty that formalised the “enduring peace and friendship between the two countries and their peoples”.

For further details on the official Year of Exchange program see

The book will be available from the publications officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, tel (02) 6261 3114 or online at

15 June 2006