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Opp. grave concern - enable Hidaka visit Aust

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The Opposition today expressed grave concern at the action of the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West) in approving a visa to enable Japanese Professor Rokuro Hidaka to visit Australia.

The Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr Michael Hodgman) said that many questions needed to be answered as to why Mr West had taken the action of approving a visa when two former Federal Ministers - Mr Macphee and Mr Hodges - had both independently concluded on the best Security advice

available that it was not in Australia's interests to permit Professor Hidaka to visit this country.

"The former Leader of the Opposition (Mr Hayden) - now Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs - said then that on the basis of the information put before him, the Fraser Government's decision on Professor Hidaka was justified", Mr Hodgman said.

"What new information has come to light which justifies Mr West making a 180° turn? What does this do to Australia's international standing and reputation on the question of National Security? Are we now entering a new era when National Security interests will change with a change of Government?" Mr Hodgman asked.

"More importantly did Mr West discuss this matter with Mr Hayden on the eve of the Foreign Minister's visit to Japan, and what impact will this new development have on Australian/ Japanese relations - bearing in mind the fact that our

former Ambassador to Japan, Mr John Menadue was very strongly opposed to any visit to Australia by Professor Hidaka?" Mr Hodgman asked.

HOBART 15 July 1983

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