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Transcript- 31831

Remarks at 'Friends of Australia' BBQ Lunch, Tokyo

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 06/04/2014

Release Type: Statement

Transcript ID: 31831


Your Excellency, Ambassador Miller, my parliamentary colleagues, Minister Andrew Robb and Parliamentary Secretary Josh Frydenberg, it is a real thrill to be here in the season of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo for what I hope will be a very auspicious time in the relationship between Japan and Australia.

There’s still a bit of work to be done and if you see Andrew Robb put his drink down and scurry out, it’s because he needs to do some last-minute final negotiating. But nevertheless, I am very optimistic that we can quite soon conclude a historic free trade agreement, a historic economic partnership between Australia and Japan.

If we are able to get this historic partnership agreement, it will compliment and build on the famous Australia-Japan Treaty of 1957 which was negotiated by my distinguished predecessor Sir Robert Menzies and Sir John McEwen with Prime Minister Kishi who, of course, was the grandfather of Prime Minister Abe. This historic treaty has been responsible for so much strength and prosperity in both our two countries. The great coal and iron ore and gas industries of Australia have arisen because of secure and reliable markets here in Japan and I thank Japan for its contribution to the wellbeing of Australia over the last 50 or 60 years.

I am confident that the policies of the new Government in Canberra – which in some important respects, mirror those of the Abe Government here in Japan – will very much boost the Australian economy and make Australia an even better trading partner for Japan. We are scrapping the carbon tax, scrapping the mining tax, we are introducing a one stop shop for environmental approvals, we are restoring the rule of law on construction sites through the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and we are cutting red tape generally because we want to be for Japan and for everyone, an absolutely reliable, rock-solid trading partner.

Trade is important, but the friendship between Australia and Japan is built on so much more than trade.

I welcome the values, the democracy and the commitment to the rule of law which has been consistently demonstrated by Japan and its people over many decades now.

Japan has been an absolute model citizen for many decades now and I am determined to work as hard as I can on this trip to deepen and broaden what is already a very deep and broad friendship between our two countries.

Finally, I wish to ask Michael Newman to come forward and stand next to his father, Maurice, over there. My friends, father and son; father was almost vegetarian in his youth and son ate lots of Australian beef! So, this is why we need more Australian beef in Japan!

Thank you very much.


Transcript- 31831