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Wednesday, 3 November 1971
Page: 2898


Mr UREN (REID, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether an invitation has been extended on behalf of the Australian Government to the Emperor of Japan to visit Australia? If an invitation has not been extended, has it been discussed? Is an invitation to be extended by the Prime Minister on his proposed visit to Japan? Does the Minister for Foreign Affairs consider that this would be in the best interests pf Australian-Japanese relationships? Is the Minister aware that there is still a strong feeling among many Australians that the Emperor of Japan was the head of State of the former militarist government in Japan and is held partly reponsible for the atrocities inflicted on many Australians during the 1941-45 conflict?


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I am not aware of any invitation having been issued to the Emperor of Japan to visit Australia or such an invitation having been discussed. However, dealing rather with the latter part of the honourable member's question, it is obvious that since the conclusion of the last World War the interests of Australia and Japan in the modern world have become quite close and, to some degree, complementary, particularly in the economic field and, to another degree, in regard to the security and stability of the area in which we have been working together. I would hope to see this co-operation continue.


Mr Uren - I agree with that, but answer the question.


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There was another part of the question about the Prime Minister. Will the honourable member repeat that portion of his question?


Mr Uren - Is an invitation to be extended by the Prime Minister during his proposed visit to Japan?


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I am not aware whether the Prime Minister will be extending an invitation. Coming to the latter part and the point of substance of the honourable member's question, the policy of the Government is to have close co-operation with the Japanese. Recently, as honourable members know, the Government announced the establishment of a joint committee of Ministers. This will be meeting alternately in Japan and in Australia and consulting on our respective interests.







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