PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6910

TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH AND QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM JAPAN NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, TOKYO, 16 MAY 1986

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/05/1986

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 6910

E 0 E PROOF ONLY
TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH AND QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM JAPAN
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB TOKYO 16 MAY 1986
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen we should like to
start this press conf~ erence given by Hon. Prime Minister
of Australia, The Hon. Robert Hawke. As manyof you
know already Mr Hawke became the Prime MInister of Australia
in March 1983 and his visit to Japan this time is his secondI
visit to Japan and last time when he was in Japan was in
1984 and at that time on the 2nd February he was so kind
as to come to our Japan National Press Club and give
us a press conference that time as well. And I am led
to understand that he has wide ranging recreations and
hobbies which include reading, cricket and
and also he has started playing and enjoying golf recently
but his handicap is a state secret so we should not
inquire about it.
One more addition is that as again it is very well known
his high popularity among ladies and ladies d gtr
is a pronounced phenomenon and also in-' the past! xee rde
himself on his large capacity for alcoholic intake. Howevzer
nowadays because he is busy in his official duties and
his utter devotion to his work. he has stopped drinking,
About the proceedings of this press conference today at
the outset the Hon. Prime Minister will give us a short
remark-for about a few minutes and then I understand
he is so kind as to entertain as many questions as time
and the interpreter for you today is
and your Master of Ceremonies is...
and I hope you will cooperate with my inexperience aof
ceremonies.

PM: Well, Mr D I had to come along way to find
some of the secrets of the past unfold by you. Thank you
very much indeed. As you have indicated, I will take a little
time in beginning making a statement and I apologise to my
Australian colleagues because a fair bit of what I will needto
say to our Japanese friends I have already conveyed to them.
I have had the opportunity of very cordial and constructive
discussions with PM Nakasone and with Foreign Minister Abe
Finance Minister Takeshita, MITI Minister Watanabe and
Agriculture Minister Hata and a number of parliamentarians
concerned with agricultural issues.
The major topic of our discussions was of course the Tokyo
Summit and I appreciated the willingness of Japan to put
as they did at the Summit that Agriculture should have a common
place inthe new MTN round, that it was expected that there should
be decisive progress made at the September Ministerial meetiqg
to launch the new round and that in the meantime the work
to be done in the OECD context will serve as prepantion
for negotiating process and I also in this context
expressed our satisfaction at the cooperation extended by
Japan with our regional trade initiative.

I noted the reassurance of Mr Nakasone that the
participants of the Summit have been prepared to take into
account the interetts of non-summit agricultural producers
and thanked him for taking our concerns and putting them
before the Summit participants.
Another major issue that was discussed was the restructuring
of the Australian and Japanese economies. In the case of
Japan the important backdrop is the Maekawa report, market
opening measures and the realignment of currencies involving
the substantial appreciation of the yen.
I welcomed the opportunities which ! these presented
to Australia. I expressed regret that so little had been
achieved so far in respect of agricultural products. I noted
that the Maekawa report was the most postiive step in recent
times and I can say that Prime Minister Nakasone responded
that the Japanese leadership is pledged to promote implementation
of the report and that this process hff now only just begun.
I suggested to PM Nakasone that it was a propitious time
to agree to an exchange between Japan and Australia of
investment missions and the Prime Minister agreed to this
proposal in principle with the details and timings to be
worked out now in discussions between government and private
sector people.
We both noted with pleasure that our trading relationship
is already broadening as a result firstly of the Australia
Japan Market Strategy, secondly it was a very significant
increases in tourism and also in the area of finance and
banking particularly as a result of significant deregulation
of financial sector and the introduction of a number of
foreign banks including three from Japan.
I emphasised to the Japanese leadership the Japanese market
for our traditional exports remain vital and I stressed
to them Australian reliability and i ' nternational competitiveness
in both minerals and agricultural products.
I pointed to the 5 advantages to Japan for a more liberalised
regime of agricultural imports. Those 5 advan-tages are:
reduced food costs and prices for Japanese consumers;
release of resources in this country for more productive
uses; lowering of your trade surplus and alleviation or
assistance in alleviating the international agricultural
crises, and a increased stability of supplies at lower cott.
I discussed several issues relating to our mineral exports
and in relation to coal where a review of Japanese policies
in regard to coal industry may open up new opportunities.
I stressed that Australia would have a very strong interest
in competing on a commercial basis for any additional tonnages.
I said that we would not be seeking any special advantages but

would be relying on our competitiveness and reliability
as a supplier to the Japanese market and I received
reassurances from Mr Nakasone and other leaders that
Japan would not be proceeding in this area with any bilateral.
arrangements at Australia's expense.
I laid particular stress on all this area about discussions
on the outstanding record that's been achieved under
my government in the area of industrial relations. I pointed
out that the level of industrial disputes in Australia is
now down to the lon st level in two decades and that was
in the context of/ us tral ia which is I would suggest is in
amongst the most politically stable countries in the world
and that this concept of new industrial stability and political
stability is something which ought sensibly to be taken into
account by Japan in making decisions as to its source of
supplies. Then may I we also had a useful exchange of views, the
Prime Minister and myself on other major matters that arose
at the Summit included terrorism, the US/ Soviet talks on
arms control, the Chernobyl incident and the need to strengthen
the International Atomic Energy Agency machinery. I indicated
on the latter point that we have recently written to Mr Gorbachev
calling for his support for an Australian initiative for
a meeting of the IAEA authorities with a view to creating
a new international convention to establish the basis for
exchanges of information in the event of any nuclear incidents
or accidents.
And finally, we also discussed a number of issues that are
important to both our countries including recent developments
in the Philippines, ANZUS, Japan's relations with China
and also the involvement of Japan in the bi-centennial celebrations
in Australia in 1988 which I expressed the extreme gratitude of
the Australian government and people for the 4egree of involvement
by Japan. I expressed this gratitude to both Mr Nakasone and
to the Committee which is involved in mobilising
private sector support.
JOURNALIST: ACcording to the information TI have just received
from the US, DOD of the US made an ann * ouncement that in the
RIMPAC 86 scheduled to start onfie 18 inthe Pacific Oceanin
that connection US has made a decision not to invite
New Zealand -to take part in the RIMPAC 86 First of all
I should like to confirm this information if it is true or
not and if this is true then I should like to invite your
comment and views on this particular US decision and I
understand that its one question eabh but a related question
if I may I should like to ask you the following. That after
the Prime Minister Lange's regime came into power in New
Zealand the ANZUS treaty has been in a state of de facto
holding and whereas Australia consistently expressed a wish
to normalise the ANZUS treaty situation does this mean that
you wish to see the change in the New Zealand non-nuclear
policy and in this connection do you see any possiblity for
the New Zealand nuclear policy to change.

PM: Let me take that point by point. In regard to
participation by NZ in RIMPAC 86 for the US to adopt
that attitude would be a logical extension of thep position
that they ahve adopted since the announcement of the NZ
position a considerable period of time ago. They have hrot
continued the military cooperation which had characterised
the previcus position. To go to the next part of your
question, let me say this. That we in Australia since
the Lange government came to power and made their position
known in regard to the non availability of their ports
for ships of the US which I-nuclear armed or
powered that it is'for New Zealand to make up
its own mind about its policy. We've aaid we don't agree
with it but we have not sought to force change upon them
nor have we acted as an intermediary for the US.
We have taken the view that that is a matter for resolution
between the US and NZ. You asked me whether I believe
there is likely to be any change in the policy of NZ. I
must say that on-ithe best information available to me
I would think. not. Now, our position is that if NZ goes ahead
with policy and ek-~ sthat in legislation and the
US in those circumstances announces an end to its commitment
to NZ under ANZUS we have said that our relationship
commitments, rights and obligations under ANZUS would remain
operative, that we would believe that the most appropriate way
of recognising that would be by exchange of letters between
President Reagan and myself, that the normal treaty should
be left in existance so that should at some later stage
NZ wish to resume its position under the treaty it would
be able to do so. The final point I make is this. That
we have made it clear and this is accepted and understood
and agreed by the US that Australia will maintain a bilateral
defence cooperation arrangement with NZ because of the
obvious need for us to be able to maintain approprite capacity
and operative capacity within our immedaite region.
JOURNALIST: Japan National Press Club:
Prime Minister Hawke I understand you will be visiting the
People's Republic of China after your stay in Japan and
now I think some interest is shown towards China in Australia
with the prospect that China may be intaking more of
the Australian iron ore and coal and I understand that there.
is now a takeover shall I say of Chinese fever over the
very strong interest with China in Australia and so in thisconnection
Mr Prime Minister how do you view the state
of Chinese economy and the Chinese economy per se and also
would you be placing more emphasis on Australia and Chinese
relationship in the future compared to the Australian/ Japanese
relationship?

PM This question opens up very broad issues. Let me try
briefly to make these relevant points. Yes, the relationship
between Australia and China is developing rapidly. There
has in the last couple of years been a doubling in trade between
us. You refer to iron ore and coal. That is an important
area but we also have agreements with China umbrella type
agreements not only in iron and steel but in nonferreus
metals and in wool and textiles and in the area of transport.
We see a significant future for development of trade between
our two countries. You asked me what is our perception
of what is happening in China. I make no secret of the fact
that I believe the single most important event that is occuring
in the world today is the revolution that is taking place
in China. It is important for the people of China, it is
important for the region, I believe it is important for the
world and we will do all that we can to assist in the
opening up of the eonomic system in China and the opening
up of the Chinese economy to the rest of the world. We
regard this as a matter not simply of possible benefit
to Australia itself but of significance as I say for the
entire global community. You asked Wether the
development of that relationship would be at the expense
of the relationship with Japan. The answer is no. We are
a country of vast resources, we've got a lot of resources
that you won't buy, that we wish you would if other will
buy them we will welcome that but there will still be enough
there to meet any expansion in demand that Japan may wish to
call upon us. It is not a question of setting Cfina off against
Japan. We regard both relationships as currently important
and of continuing importance in the forseeable future.

t JOURNALIST: David Gee, ABC NEWS. Mr Hawke, can you clarify the
position of the conference on the economy, the committee summit
or whatever it is being called, that Mr Keating announced today
who will be there, what will be discussed, is the Accord on the
table to be discussed or renegotiated, will the promised tax
cuts be given as planned and when did you discuss this with
Mr Keating?
PM: Could I say to my Japanese friends I thought I had just
done a quick negotiation with the Australian contingent to
deal with these esoteric matters separately. But that's not
done so I want-. to assure you my friends that while it may
sound very esoteric to you, it is a matter of significant
importance to our friends and to myself..-. So if you will
excuse me I will address myself to this important question.
The regular meeting of the advisory council on prices and
incomes was held Melbourne this morning and as I am informed
a discussion developed there in regard to the question of
balance of payments and current account considerations. It
was put by the business representatives there that they
weren't in the same position as the ACTU to discuss these
matters with the Government. My colleagues who were there,
Mr Keating and Mr Willis, responded that they should feel
themselves free to be just as much involved in such a discussion
and it was in no circumstances that a discussion, a quite
detailed discussion developed about these issues. Out of those
discussions it was agreed that there should be a special
meeting called which ACTU, the business organisations, the
States and the Government and perhaps some others should be
called hopefully within the next couple of weeks to discuss
matters relevant to these issues of balance of payments and
current account problems. As I understand there is I agreement
which I welcome that nothing should be excluded from these
discussions which are regarded by participants as relevant.
I believe that this development out of this morning meeting
is to be welcomed and I hope that the meeting can be held
very soon after my return to Australia.
JOURNALIST: SANKEI NEWSPAPER: I should like to ask the following
two questions as regards the South Pacific region. Australia
has put forth the idea of a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone
Treaty and would you not think that such a treaty may exert
annegativt7impact to the security of the western nations or the
security of the west in the future in the sense that the
security of the west based on the . centreing around the
-nuclear element or the nuclear partition that is my first. point.
My other point is that the Soviet Union concluded a fisheries
treaty with Kiribati ( section inaudible)

What do you think of the background of the Soviet move
as such and what do you think of the motivation and
objectives behind the Soviet move and if in case the
Soviet Union may make further inroads into the South
Pacific in this way what sort of measures or countermeasures
will Australia be taking?
PM: Firstly the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone treaty
we would not have initiatctc the move for the South
Pacific Nuclear Free Zone treaty as I did on becoming
Prime Minister in 1983 at the first meeting of the South
Pacific forum in Canberra that year if we had believed
that the conclusion of such a treaty would prejudice
our existing security arrangements and we fully informed
the US of the moves that we were taking and indicated that
with the conclusion of this treaty there would be no
interference at all with the existing treaty rights and
obligations and commitments. The treaty covers the question
of nuclear testing in the region, the actual position and
storage of nuclear weapons and the questionof Hmping
of the nuclear waste. We believe that this is/ extremely
worthwhile advance in our region and it is our judgement
and I think in the understanding of the US entirely
consistent with our pre-obligations so therefore we don't
accept that it will havei na nv ovuardverse impact on western
security as you raised/ question. Secondly in regards to the
extension of Soviet influence. Let me make these Points.
As we have made it clear to the US we believe that there was
a degree of neglect in the conduct of the US relations with
some of the island countries in the South Pacific that
toomuch of the American interests in that area have been
left to the American Tuna Boat Association and the activities
of that Association have in our judgement not been conducive
to the establishment of good relations as far as the US and
countries of that region are concerned. It was within that
environment thiat the Soviet Union was able in fact to conclude
a fisheries agreement with Kiribati and they are
currently negotiating with Vanuatu. We have not welcomed
those developments but I believe it should not be an over
exaggeration of them. It is significant that the US has
been now some time engaged in meaningful constructive negotiations
with the countries of the South Pacific under the forum
fisheries arraijgement in an attempt * to achieve a multilateral
fishing agreement. Very considerable progress, has now been
made on that and if that is finalised then I think much of
the context within which the Soviet Union has been able to
make these limited advances will be neutralised. We, Australia
maintian a very effective defence cooperationprogram with the
countries of the region, we will continue that. One particular
aspect of it is the provision of patrol boats which will be
manufactured in Australia and provided to other countries in
the South Pacific who request them. So in tbtal in answer
to your second question I say we don't welcome developments
but we don't exaggerate the concerns attached to them'~ and
we are possibly doing those things which we believe will
strengthen the relationship of our country and our allies
with the countries of the region. 7

JANET SLATE FROM UPI: you were talking about trade
bilateral trade arrangements at Australia's expense. Australia
has long expressed -satisfaction with the beef quota situation
here in Japan which does lean heavily toward imports of US
beef. What sort of contrary proposals did you make in your
discussions here in Tokyo to enlarge the Austrlian pke of the
pie should we say?
PM: I perhaps should say the beef stew. The two fings.
Firstly, I madethe point that as a -sult of the very significant
appreciation of the yen it should be possible to have at least
a significant reduction inprices for the beef which I believe
should therefore allow an increase in imports and in that
context I suggested that it be approprite that Australia
should have a reasonable opportunity to take advantage of
any such increase which would mean benefit to us and at the
same time considerable benefits to the Japanese consumer.
The second point I contented myself with was to point out
that the agreement expires in 1988 and I hope that the
Japanese can agree to an early start on the negotiations
so that new situation to arise out of the negotiations
between inaudible......

JOURNALIST: David Gee, ABC NEWS. Mr Hawke, can you clarify the
position of the conference on the economy, the committee summit
or whatever it is being called, that Mr Keating announced today
who will be there, what will be discussed, is the Accord on the
table to be discussed or renegotiated, will the promised tax
cuts be given as planned and when did you discuss this with
Mr Keating?
PM: Could I say to my Japanese friends I thought I had just
done a quick negotiation with the Australian contingent to
deal with these esoteric matters separately. But that's not
done so I want to assure you my friends that while it may
sound very esoteric to you, it is a matter of significant
importance to our friends and to myself.:. So if you will
excuse me I will address myself to this important question.
The regular meeting of the advisory council on prices and
incomes was held Melbourne this morning and as I am informed
a discussion developed there in regard to the question of
balance of payments and current account considerations. It
was put by the business representatives there that they
weren't in the same position as the ACTU to discuss these
matters with the Government. My colleagues who were there,
Mr Keating and Mr Willis, responded that they should feel
themselves free to be just as much involved in such a discussion
and it was in no circumstances that a discussion, a quite
detailed discussion developed about these issues. Out of those
discussions it was agreed that there should be a special
meeting called which ACTU, the business organisations, the
States and the Government and perhaps some others should be
called hopefully within the next couple of weeks to discuss
matters relevant to these issues of balance of payments and
current account problems. As I understand there is agreement
which I welcome that nothing should be excluded from these
discussions which are regarded by participants as relevant.
I believe that this development out of this morning meeting
is to be welcomed and I hope that the meeting can be held
very soon after my return to Australia.

Transcript 6910