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Memorial Service for Mr Keizo Obuchi.

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MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MR KEIZO OBUCHI I will represent Australia at the memorial service on 8 June in Tokyo for Mr Keizo Obuchi, the former Prime Minister of Japan.

Mr Obuchi was a good friend and a colleague and I was saddened by his passing. His tenure as Prime Minister will be remembered for the important domestic reforms he instituted, many of which are crucial to Japan’s economic recovery. He will also be remembered for continuing to promote Japan’s international and regional role.

My wife and I warmly remember the hospitality he and his wife extended to us during our official visit to Japan last year.

Australia and Japan enjoy a close partnership that extends well beyond our strong trading ties. My attendance at the memorial service for Mr Obuchi will provide me with an opportunity to reinforce the importance of these ties with Mr Obuchi’s successor as Prime Minister, Mr Mori.

Given the importance of our country’s relationship with Japan, I have invited the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Beazley, and the Chairman of the Australia-Japan Parliamentary Friendship group, Mr Andrew Thomson MP, to accompany me. Both have accepted my invitation.

30 May 2000

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