Policy Briefing: Australia-Japan Relationship

A Partnership of Economic and Strategic Significance, with Enduring Qualities

SYDNEY, 20 March 2015

Australian Ambassador to Japan, Bruce Miller, briefed senior members of Asia Society Australia on the current state and future prospects of the Australia-Japan bilateral relationship and recently concluded Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), in an exclusive boardroom policy briefing on Friday, 20 March in Sydney.

The briefing covered strategic, economic, social and educational dimensions of the bilateral relationship. Ambassador Miller provided an extensive overview of the JAEPA and its significance to the relationship. Touted as a “game changer”, the agreement is Japan’s most liberalising agreement to date and will provide trust and assurance to a relationship that continues to encourage a prosperous, secure and rules-based region.

Immediate outcomes of the agreement - and overall strengthening of bilateral ties - are a heavily deregulated trade environment and a more secure investment climate for both countries. Stronger collaboration in education will deepen existing ties, and will serve to promote skill exchange in areas such as funds and infrastructure management. Concluding remarks indicated that Australian businesses must be bold in pursuing partnerships with Japan, and that “face-to-face communication is key” if the agreement and broader potential of the Australia-Japan relationship is to be unlocked and fully utilised.

The member-only Policy Briefing was co-hosted by Asia Society Australia Chairman, the Hon Warwick Smith AM and Minter Ellison Chief Executive Partner, Tony Harrington AM. The briefing was generously sponsored by the Asia Society Australia corporate member, Minter Ellison.

Reported by Fay Edwards, Asia Society Australia