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Downer welcomes return to normal fisheries relations with Japan on southern bluefin tuna.



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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Media Release Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer

29 May 2001

Downer Welcomes Return to Normal Fisheries Relations with Japan on Southern Bluefin Tuna

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer, today announced the return to normal relations with Japan over the fishing of southern bluefin tuna.

Speaking during a visit to Tokyo to meet members of the new Koizumi Government, Mr Downer said differences between the two countries regarding sustainable fisheries practices had come to an end.  This followed a day of discussions in Canberra yesterday.

Mr Downer noted with satisfaction the constructive and productive efforts both countries had recently made within the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) to build a more effective fisheries management regime and to resolve differences on this issue.  He said he was sure the CCSBT was now better placed to effectively manage southern bluefin tuna stocks well into the future.

Mr Downer said he was also very pleased to be able to announce the Australian Government's immediate lifting of the bans currently in place on Japanese fishing vessels visiting Australian ports.

Mr Downer said he was pleased that both countries could put their differences behind them and focus on building further an already strong relationship.

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