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Trilateral strategic dialogue with Japan and the United States.



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Media contact: Courtney Hoogen (Ministerial) 0488 244 901 Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (02) 6261 1555

MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS THE HON STEPHEN SMITH, MP

FA100 25 June 2008

TRILATERAL STRATEGIC DIALOGUE WITH JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES

I will be travelling to Japan on 26-28 June to attend a Trilateral Strategic Dialogue Ministerial meeting between Australia, Japan and the United States.

This will be the third such Trilateral Ministerial meeting.

The last Ministerial meeting was held in November 2006 in Hanoi in the margins of APEC.

The Trilateral Strategic Dialogue meeting in Kyoto on Friday 27 June provides the opportunity for three close partners to discuss common interests and consider a range of global issues. It also provides an opportunity to consider ways to strengthen practical cooperation in the region.

I look forward to discussions about the Asia-Pacific region with Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr Masahiko Koumura, and US Secretary of State, Dr Rice.

I will take the opportunity to discuss outcomes from Prime Minister Rudd and Prime Minister Fakuda’s recent meeting, in particular, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation for the region.

I will also have separate bilateral meetings with both Mr Koumura and Dr Rice, providing an important opportunity to further advance Australia’s significant engagement with their countries across the range of strategic political and economic interests.

The trilateral meeting will be held at the conclusion of the G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

This provides the opportunity for bilateral meetings with G8 Foreign Ministers, including from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada and Germany. I propose to raise the situation in Zimbabwe with my Ministerial colleagues.

I will also take the opportunity of my travel to Japan to visit Kobe to highlight the long-standing and active sister state relationship between Western Australia and Hyogo Prefecture. This will include a meeting with the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture and other senior officials.