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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1748

Mr MORRIS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Immigration. Is it a fact that Japanese nationals visiting Australia can obtain 90-day visas, that they can bring into Australia goods that are duty free which, 1 understand, in cases are often resold and that they can take employment while they are here? Is it a fact that Australian nationals visiting Japan receive only a 60-day visa, that they cannot take employment while they are in Japan and that if they wish to stay longer than 60 days they have to seek renewal of their visa? Are steps being taken to remedy this imbalance of rights which presently operates to the disadvantage of Australian citizens? If so, when is it expected that such changes will be made?

Mr GRASSBY (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Immigration) - It would not be correct to say that Japanese people who come here under the visa arrangements for business and other purposes are misusing their visas. The experience we have had is that they do, in fact, honour their obligations particularly well. I should like that fact to be placed on record. It is the desire of the Government to ensure that there is the best facilitated - if I may put it that way - movement between Japan and Australia and, indeed all the countries in the Australasian region, for the purposes of trade, culture, education and friendship. It is true, I understand, that there are some differences between the terms which are given to Japanese people coming for short term stays in Australia and those applying to Australians going to Japan. I am studying those differences at present. I hope that in our excellent relations that we have at the moment we will be able to end some of the differences which concern the honourable member for Shortland. I place clearly on record the fact that visas issued to Japanese people coming to Australia have been honoured particularly well and I pay a tribute to them.

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