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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 3

Mr PEACOCK (Kooyong) (Minister for Foreign Affairs) - Mr Speaker, I wish to support the motion of condolence moved by the Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser). The death of Prime Minister Ohira was a sad occasion not only for the Japanese nation but also for those of us who knew him and respected his commitment to promoting peace and understanding among countries, particularly in the Pacific region.

Mr Ohirarecognised clearly that the growing economic interdependence in the international community would not result in greater harmony between nations unless it were accompanied by positive efforts to improve mutual understanding and co-operation.

He sought to apply this principle through active diplomacy, notably in promoting the concept of a Pacific Community which he envisaged as providing a framework for the development of cooperation among the countries in the region.

Mr Ohiraattached importance to strengthening Japan's relations with Australia. He was concerned to strengthen exchanges in all fields and to provide greater opportunities for direct contact between Australians and Japanese - in effect, to lay the foundations for what he aptly described as a creative partnership' between our countries.

These objectives corresponded closely to Australian views and it is a matter for deep sadness that Mr Ohira will not see the flowering in the new decade of the partnership to which he made such a substantial contribution.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honourable members standing in their places.

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