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Transcript 3846


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/08/1975

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3846

13 August 1975
The Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam, today announced
that the Government had decided to legislate during the next
session of Parliament for the establishment of an Australia-
Japan Foundation. The objectives of the Foundation will be
to deepen and widen contacts between Australia and Japan in all
fields, including business, academic, cultural, scientific
and the trade unions.
The Pri. e .' inister said that the relationship
bet~ en As---iria 2 J-an was of the highest importance
t oth ccu-. r-ri all readily recognise this importance
in the econcmiz field," said Mr Whitlam. " But there are
wider interests between us which until now have been little
explored or developed. It will be the task of the
Australia-Japan F'undation to assist and encourage wellmotivated
and cc.:: etent Australians and Japanese from all
walks of life to tild knowledge, understanding and goodwill
betw; een the t'-o c..--tries."
The -: fration will promote mutual visits by
selected persons a.-dc also research and comparative studies in
depth of a diverse range of topics embracing but not limited
to the social. institutions of the two countries, the social
and natural scie-ces, industrial and creative arts and the
humanities. rizeri-for assistance by the Foundation will
be based or. crntribution proposals will make to knowledge of
one country i--he other, to filling key gaps in mutual
understanding and to extending the scope for fruitful cooperation
between Australians and Japanese in each country. Those
receiving assis-ance will be competent persons who are already
making a contribution to their own sphere of activity.
The proposed structure and functions of the
Foundation have been under consideration since late last year
by a Committee comprising Mr Kenneth Myer, D. S. C.,
Professor E. S. Crawcour, Mr D. J. Munro, ( Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet), and Mr J. R. Rowland
( Department of Foreign Affairs), under the chairmanship
of Sir John Crawford, C. B. E. The Committee's report
recommended that the Foundation should operate as an
independent non-governmental statutory body with an invited / 2

national council of not more than 15 members drawn from
key elements of Australian society to give it as wide a base
as possible in the Australian community.
The Prime Minister said that he had foreshadowed
the establishment of -the Foundation during the visit to
Australia last year by the Japanese Prime Minis-ter, Mr Tanaka.
It was a logical next step following on the signature
in Canberra last November of the Australian-Japanese
Cultural Agreement. That Agreement, however, Mr Whitlam
said, was concerned with a range of specific inter-governmental
activities, and there was a need to go beyond it in order
to deepen and strengthen Australia-Japan relations by fostering
better understanding and greater tolerance through people-topeople
contacts in all fields of mutual experience. Only
in this way would each people be able to understand and appreciate
the character, culture and outlook of the other.
For the time being, the Office of the Australia-Japan
Foundation Will1 be centred in the Prime Minister's Department.

Transcript 3846