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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1457

Senator SIM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I refer to a recommendation by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in its report on Japan that machinery be established for consultation between the Government and industry prior to the next meeting of the Australia-Japan Ministerial Committee. As such a meeting is to take place within a few days I ask the Minister: Has this been done? Has there been consultation between the Government and industry? If not, why not?

Senator WILLESEE -Broadly I think the answer is yes, but I will check it out for Senator Sim. The situation is that a permanent section of the Department of Foreign Affairs is working continuously on the whole question of JapaneseAustralian relations. As Senator Sim is well aware, the meeting that is to take place soon- a group of Ministers will be leaving Australia tonight- will be the second of these meetings at a ministerial level. The Japanese visited Australia last year and Australia is returning that visit this year. There is a tremendous amount of interest in this meeting. I was in Tokyo a week or so ago and I know that a tremendous amout of work is being done on it. I think that broadly the answer to the honourable senator's question is yes, the working committee within the Department is doing the sorts of things that the report recommended. But I will check on this matter and let the honourable senator have any further details.

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