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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3096

Mr GARRICK (BATMAN, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Immigration. Is immigration from Japan expected to rise sharply in the future following the announcement of increased interest by Japan in the development of Australia's resources? If so, what would be the order of such a rise?

Mr GRASSBY - One of the great myths and legends of the Australian people is that there are always tremendous numbers of other people standing by, knocking on the door for entry to Australia. I looked into the precise position in regard to Japan when I was there very recently and I think the number of applications for permanent migration to Australia at that time was zero. But a great deal of interest has been displayed by Japanese in coming to Australia for tourist, business and education purposes. I was very happy to be able to make arrangements with the Japanese authorities to facilitate entry for all those' purposes and the new arrangements are working particularly well.

In regard to the migration of Japanese to Australia for permanent purposes, I am afraid that those who feel that there is a great urge to come here are quite wrong. It might be as well to recall that on 2 previous occasions many years ago, I think from Queensland and South Australia, there was a suggestion that there should be special migration programs for the Japanese but on those occasions the Japanese authorities refused to co-operate because the terms and conditons were not good enough. That puts it in its historical perspective. In fact, there is very little interest in permanent migration but a great deal of interest in business, cultural and educational exchanges. We will facilitate them in every way possible. Co-operation is proceeding in a very sound and good way and I am very satisfied with the arrangements.

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