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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2693


Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/10/1972

Release Type: Statement

Transcript ID: 2693

By the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. William McMahon, CH, MP.
12 October 1972

Good Morning! On behalf of the Australian Government, I welcome to Australa five Japanese Ministers the Foreign Minister, Mr Ohira; the Minister of Agriculture and Fishery, Mr Adachi; the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Mr Nakasone; the Minit.; er of Transport, Sasaki, and the Minister of State for Economic Planning, Mr Arita.

This is the largest group of Ministers ever to have come to Australia from any single country-and I can assure you, we in Australia welcome you just as the Australian delegation of eight AMinisters is, I understand, the largest group we have had at an international conference in Australia.
This important gathering is the inaugural meeting
of the Australia/ Japan Ministerial Committee which it was agreed
last year should be established:
" to hold consultations on bilateral and multilateral trade
and related proble s, as well as other matters of common
interest concernin the trade and economic relationshio
between the two countries that may subsequently be
considered necessary."
In accordance with this policy, the Committee is
to discuss economic and financial issues, multilateral trade
matters, bilateral trade, energy and natural resources, transportation
matters and Papua and New Guinea. / 2

The creation of the Committee underlines the great
importance of the many-faceted relationship between Australia and
Japan. Our trade has grown to the point where Japan is our largest
trading partner and Australia is Japan's second-largest trading
partner after the United States. Australia recently had its first
loan placement ever in the Japanese capital market.
But while the economic relationship forms the bulk
of te bilateral contacts between our two countries, our dealings
with each other extend into many other fields political,
scientific and cultural, and we co-operate extensively and intimately
in international organisations.
So we look at this Ministerial Committee Meeting
as a particularly important means of supplementing the established
pattern of Ministerial visits, and of way of furthering the frank
and friendly exchanges which are now a settled part of our
relationship that is the relationship between our two countries.
I am confident that Australia and Jaran can enlarge
their friendship and co-operation to the benefit of both nations,
and can together contribute, each in its own way, to the prosperity
and peace of the region in which we live.
If I can make this comment to you, Mr Foreign Minister,
Mr Ohira, I very much welcome the statement you made yesterday
immediately after you arrived in Australia. It was, I think, a
very helpful beginning to what I can hope to be a successful meeting
between your Ministers and my own, and I am sure that our belief in
success will turn out to be a reality.

As Treasurer, it was my -llr. sure to be involved with
many contacts in economic and financial matters between the
Australian and Japanese Governments. And in truth, I think I can
take credit for the formation and the subsequent working of the
official meetings as between the officials of the Government of
Japan and my own officials which were established at the time I
was the Foreign Minister.

And at that time, too, as Foreign Minister, I was even more closely involved with the strengthening of the warm relationship between our two countries, and was able to give a great deal of thought to the methods by which that relationship should be able to develop. It was during my period as Foreign Minister, as I have said, that the initiatives by our Governments were taken to establish the Ministerial Committee as well. As Prime Minister, I was naturally delighted to give my full backing to the proposal to establish this Committee.

I am certain that it will prove to be one of the most significant steos our peonles have taken in furthering our common goals of friendship, co-operation, prosperity and of peace. It therefore gives me great pleasure, Mr Chairman, to declare open the inaugural meeting of the Australia/ Japan Ministerial Committee.

Transcript 2693