Pacific
Japan-Australia Relations (Basic Data)

April 21, 2014

Overview

Australia and Japan have established good bilateral relationships based on mutually complementary economic relations. In recent years, the two countries have also strengthened political and security cooperation, which has made them a strategic partner in the Asia-Pacific region.

As both countries are allies with the US in the Asia-Pacific region, the two countries have promoted the trilateral relations.

The two countries have strongly cooperated to tackle global and regional issues, such as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

The two countries have also promoted people-to-people exchanges, including more than 100 sister-city relationships.

History of Japan-Australia Relationship

Year  
1947 Australian embassy established in Tokyo.
1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty signed by Australia.
1952 Australian embassy established in Tokyo.
1953 Japanese embassy established in Australia.
1957 First visit to Japan by an Australian Prime Minister (Robert Menzies).
1957 First visit to Australia by a Japanese Prime Minister (Nobusuke Kishi).
1957 Agreement on Commerce between Japan and the Commonwealth of Australia.
1968 Agreement on Fisheries between the Government of Japan and the Government of Australia.
1970 Agreement between Japan and the Commonwealth of Australia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.
1972 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Australia for Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
1974 Cultural Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Australia.
1976 Basic Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation between Japan and Australia.
1995 Joint Declaration on the Australia-Japan Partnership.
1997 Japan-Australia Partnership Agenda.
1998 Partnership in Health and Family Services between the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Australian Department of Health and Family Services.
2002 "Australia-Japan Creative Partnership" Prime Ministerial Joint Statement.
2003 Australia-Japan Trade and Economic Framework.
2003 Australia-Japan Joint Statement on Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism.
2003 Memorandum of Defence Exchange.
2006 Australia-Japan Year of Exchange.
2006 Australia-Japan Joint Ministerial Statement on Building a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
2007 Agreement between Australia and Japan on Social Security.
2007 Australia-Japan Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation.
2007 Memorandum on Cooperation in Education between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan and the Department of Education, Science and Training of Australia.
2007 Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement talks launched.
2007 Inaugural Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations.
2008 Australia-Japan Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.
2008 Australia-Japan Joint Ministerial Statement on Comprehensive Strategic, Security and Economic Partnership.
2008 International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament Jointly Chaired by Former Australian Foreign Ministerial Gareth Evans and Former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi launched.
2009 Inaugural Australia-Japan Trade and Economic Ministerial Dialogue.
2010 Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement signed.
2012 Information Security Agreement signed.

VIP Visits (since 1996)

From Australia to Japan
Year Name
1996 - Treasurer Peter Costello (March)
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Tim Fischer (May)
- Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (June)
- Prime Minister John Howard (September)
1997 - Minister for Industrial Relations Peter Reith (April)
- President of the Australian Senate Margaret Reid, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Tim Fischer and other five ministers (all for Australia-Japan Cabinet Committee in August)
- Minister for Defence Ian McLachlan (September)
- Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (October)
1998 - Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (March)
1999 - Minister for Industry, Science and Resources Nick Minchin (April)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (April)
- Prime Minister John Howard (July)
- Minister for Trade Mark Vaile (October)
2000 - Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (April)
- Prime Minister John Howard (June)
2001 - Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (May)
- Minister for Industry, Science and Resources Nick Minchin (May)
- Minister for Trade Mark Vaile (June)
- Prime Minister John Howard (August)
2002 - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Warren Truss (January and July)
- Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs Philip Ruddock (March)
- Minister for Trade Mark Vaile (April)
- Minister for the Environment and Heritage David Kemp (May)
- Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane (May)
- Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Richard Alston (June)
- Minister for Finance and Administration Nick Minchin (July)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (November)
- Minister for Science Peter McGauran (December)
2003 - Minister for Trade Mark Vaile (February)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (May)
- Minister for Small Business and Tourism Joe Hockey (July)
- Prime Minister John Howard (July)
- Minister for Defence Robert Hill (September-October)
- President of the Australian Senate Paul Calvert (December)
2004 - Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane (May)
2005 - Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (March)
- Minister for Trade Mark Vaile (April)
- Prime Minister John Howard (April)
- Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Warren Truss (July)
- Minister for the Arts and Sport Rod Kemp (July)
- Minister for Small Business and Tourism Fran Bailey (July)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (July)
- Special Minister of State Eric Abetz (July)
- Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane (September)
2006 - Minister for Transport and Regional Services Warren Truss (January)
- Minister for Small Business and Tourism Fran Bailey (January)
- Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott (June)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (August)
- Minister for Trade Warren Truss (November)
2007 - Prime Minister John Howard (March)
- Minister for Defence Brendan Nelson and Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer (June).
2008 - Minister for Trade Simon Crean (January)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith (January)
- Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr (February)
- Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson (March)
- Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke (April)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith (May)
- Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water Penny Wong (May)
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (June)
- Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr (June)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith (June)
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (July)
- Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson (August)
- Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr (November)
- Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson (November)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon (December)
2009 - Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese (January)
- Treasurer Wayne Swan (March)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith (April)
- Minister for Trade Simon Crean (October)
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (December)
2010 - Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese (March)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence John Faulkner (May)
- Minister for Trade Simon Crean (June)
2011 - Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett (March)
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Mr. Tim Mathieson (April)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Jenkins (May)
- Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson (July and September)
- Governor of State of Victoria Alex Chernov (August)
- Minister for Trade Craig Emerson (October)
- Chief Minister of Northern Territory Paul Henderson (October)
- Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joseph Ludwig (December)
2012 - Chief Minister of Northern Territory Paul Henderson (April)
- Minister for Trade Craig Emerson (May)
- Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles (May)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr (May, July)
- Treasurer and Minister for Trade, State of Queensland Tim Nicholls (July)
- Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson (September)
- Minister for Defence Stephen Smith (September)
- Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Julie Bishop (October)
- Chief of the Defence Force David Hurley (October)
2013 - Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles (March)
- Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Terry Mills (March)
- Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Andrew Leigh (May)
- Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett (June)
- Minister for Defence Stephen Smith (July)
- Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Adams Giles (July)
- Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman (September)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop (October)
- Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb (November)
2014 - Premier of New South Wales Barry O’Farrell (February)
- Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb (March)
- Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb (March, April)
- Prime Minister Tony Abbott (April)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop (April)
- Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman (April)
From Japan to Australia
Year Name
1996 - Minister for Construction Eiichi Nakao (June)
- Minister for International Trade and Industry Shunpei Tsukahara (July)
- Minister for Labor Takanobu Nagai (August)
- Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Ichiro Hino (September)
1997 - Minister for Construction Shizuka Kamei (January)
- Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto (April)
- Prince Katsura (June)
- Minister for International Trade and Industry Shinji Sato (July)
1998 - Minister for Health and Welfare Junichiro Koizumi (January)
- Director General of Defence Agency Fumio Kyuma (January)
- Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Komura (January)
- Prince Tomohito (June)
- Former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita (October)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Komura (November)
1999 - Minister for International Trade and Industry Kaoru Yosano (March)
- Prince Tomohito (June)
- Prince Katsura (June)
- Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Shoichi Nakagawa (August)
2000 - Minister for International Trade and Industry Takashi Fukaya (June)
2002 - Minister for Administrative Reform Nobuteru Ishihara (January)
- Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (April-May)
- Director General of Defence Agency Gen Nakatani (August)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi (November)
- Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako (December)
2004 - Minister for Justice Daizo Nozawa (June)
- Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Keishiro Fukushima (November)
2005 - State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ichiro Aisawa (February)
- Director General of Defence Agency Yoshinori Ohno (May)
- Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi (July)
2006 - Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso (March)
2007 - Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari (July)
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura and Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari (all for APEC in September)
2009 - Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirofumi Nakasone (April-May)
2010 - State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Fukuyama (February)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Katsuya Okada (February)
- National Public Safety Commission Chairman Hiroshi Nakai (May)
- Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Kazuhiro Haraguchi (July)
2011 -Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda (February)
-Group led by Vice Chair for the Upper House Hidehisa Otsuji (October)
2012 -Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Tadahiro Matsushita (January)
-Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba and Minister for Defence Satoshi Morimoto (September)
2013 -Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida (January)
-Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Norio Mitsuya (December)
2014 -Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Taro Aso (February)

Political and Security Relations

  • (1) In order to establish diversified relations, the two countries promote active bilateral talks at a variety of levels. When Prime Minister Hashimoto visited Australia in April 1997, the two countries agreed to hold a Prime Ministers' meeting every year.
  • (2) In May 2002, Prime Minister John Howard and visiting Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced a joint statement titled "Australia-Japan Creative Partnership," and agreed on concrete cooperation for a wide range of areas. Since then, a number of consultations in various areas took place between the two countries. For example, when Prime Minister Howard visited Japan in July 2003, "Australia-Japan Joint Statement on Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism" was announced.
  • (3) When Foreign Minister Aso visited Australia to attend the First Trilateral Strategic Dialogue among Japan, Australia and the US in March 2006, he and Foreign Minister Downer issued a joint statement titled "Building a Comprehensive Strategic Relationship."
  • (4) In March 2007, Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation was signed by Prime Minister Aso and Prime Minister Howard during his visit to Japan.
  • (5) Based on the Joint Declaration, the First Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations were held in Tokyo in June 2007, and a joint statement was issued.
  • (6) During the APEC Leaders' Meeting in September 2007, the Japan-Australia Prime Ministers' Meeting was held, and the two Prime Ministers agreed with the Action Plan to implement the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and "Enhancement of Cooperation on Climate Change and Energy Security."
  • (7) In June 2008, Prime Minister Fukuda and visiting Prime Minister Rudd issued a joint statement on "Comprehensive Strategic, Security and Economic Partnership."
  • (8) The Third Trilateral Strategic Dialogue among Foreign Minister Komura, Secretary of State Rice and Foreign Minister Smith was held in Kyoto in June 2008, and they issued a joint statement. Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers' meeting was also held.
  • (9) Prime Minister Aso and Prime Minister Rudd held a meeting in New York in September 2008, and they issued a press announcement about International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, which was initiated as joint initiative of Japan and Australia. A report prepared by the International Commission was submitted to Prime Minister Hatoyama and Prime Minister Rudd in December 2009.
  • (10) In December 2008, the Second Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations were held by Foreign Minister Nakasone, Defence Minister Hamada, Foreign Minister Smith and Defence Minister Fitzgibbon, and a joint statement was issued. Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers' meeting was also held.
  • (11) Foreign Minister Nakasone visited Australia from April 30 to May 1, 2009, and paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Rudd in Melbourne and had a meeting with Foreign Minister Smith in Perth.
  • (12) During the UN General Assembly in September 2009, Prime Minister Hatoyama and Prime Minister Rudd held a meeting. Also, Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers' meeting was held. Moreover, the Fourth Trilateral Strategic Dialogue was held by Foreign Minister Okada, Foreign Minister Smith and Secretary of State Clinton.
  • (13) In December 2009, Prime Minister Rudd visited Japan and held a meeting with Prime Minister Hatoyama. The two Prime Ministers received a report drafted by the International Commission of Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, with the presense of co-chairs of the Commission, Mr. Gareth Evans and Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi.
  • (14) In February 2010, Foreign Minister Okada visited Australia and had a meeting with Prime Minister Rudd, Foreign Minister Smith and Defence Minister Faulkner. In May, the Third Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations was held in Tokyo with the participation of Foreign Minister Okada, Defence Minister Kitazawa, Foreign Minister Smith and Defence Minister Faulkner. On that occasion, an "Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Australia Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Self-defense Forces of Japan and the Australian Defence Force" (ACSA) was signed. Moreover Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers meeting was also held.
  • (15) In November 2010, Foreign Minister Maehara visited Australia and had a meeting with Prime Minister Gillard, Foreign Minister Rudd, Trade Minister Emerson, and Defence Minister Smith. In December 2010, Vice Foreign Minister Banno visited Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney.
  • (16) In April 2011, Prime Minister Gillard visited Japan and met with Prime Minister Kan, Foreign Minister Matsumoto, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Kaieda, Defence Minister Kitazawa. Prime Minister Gillard paid a visit to Minami Sanriku with Foreign Minister Matsumoto, one of the devastated areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
  • (17) In November 2011, Prime Minister Noda had a meeting with Prime Minister Gillard visiting Bali, Indonesia for the ASEAN Summit.
  • (18) In May 2012, Foreign Minister Carr visited Japan and had a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Okada and Foreign Minister Gemba and "Agreement Between The Government of Japan and The Government of Australia on The Security of Information [PDF]PDF" was signed.
  • (19) In September 2012, bilateral meeting "4th Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations (2+2)" was held in Sydney with a joint statement "Australia and Japan-Cooperating for peace and stability Common Vision and Objectives [PDF]PDF". In the same month, Defence Minister Smith visited Japan and met with Deputy Prime Minister Okada, Defence Minister Morimoto, Vice Foreign Minister Yamaguchi.
  • (20) In September 2012, Prime Minister Noda visiting New York, the United States for the United Nations General Assembly had a meeting with Prime Minister Gillard.
  • (21) In November 2012, Prime Minister Noda visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia for ASEAN Summit met with Prime Minister Gillard.
  • (22) In January 2013, Foreign Minister Kishida visited Australia and met with Foreign Minister Carr and Trade Minister Emerson. In January, "Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreemet (ACSA)" came into effect and in March "Agreement Between The Government of Japan and The Government of Australia on The Security of Information" came into force. In July Defence Minister Smith visited Japan and had a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga and Defence Minister Onodera.
  • (23) In July 2013, Foreign Minister Kishida visiting Brunei for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting had a meeting with Foreign Minister Carr.
  • (24) In September 2013, Foreign Minister Kishida visiting New York, the United States for the United Nations General Assembly had a meeting with Foreign Minister Bishop.
  • (25) In October 2013, Foreign Minister Kishida visiting Bali, Indonesia for APECT Ministers Meeting held with Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Bishop the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD).
  • (26) In October 2013, Prime Minister Abe visiting Brunei for the ASEAN Summit had a meeting with Prime Minister Abbott.
  • (27) In October 2013, Foreign Minister Bishop visited Japan and had a foreign ministerial meeting and paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe.
  • (28) In January 2014, Prime Minister Abe visiting Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (Davos Meeting) had a meeting with Prime Minister Abbott.

Economic Relations

(1) Trade

Prime Minister John Howard and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi singed the Australia-Japan Trade and Economic Framework in July 2003, when the Australian Prime Minister visited Japan. Based on the framework, the two countries conducted the joint research on liberalisation of trade and investment until April 2005. At the Prime Ministers' meeting held in Tokyo in April 2005, both leaders agreed to start the joint research on the feasibility of concluding an FTA and its merits/demerits. Five meetings of the joint research and two Australia-Japan Joint Committees resulted in the final report in December 2006. In the same month, the two Prime Ministers held a phone talk and agreed to launch bilateral EPA negotiations from 2007. The EPA negotiations were held for 11 times from April 2007 to September 2010. Moreover, in February 2007, both countries also signed the Agreement between Japan and Australia on Social Security, which came into effect in January 2009. Furthermore, the amendment to the Japan-Australia Taxation Convention was signed in January 2008 and came into effect in December 2008.

(A) Japan's Exports to Australia

  • JPY1,470 billion (2012)
  • Principal export items: Transportation equipment (automobiles, their parts, etc.), general machinery, electrical equipment, rubber products (tires, etc.), chemicals, precision machinery, iron and steel, textile products.

(B) Japan's Imports from Australia

  • JPY4,503 billion (2011-2012)
  • Principal import items: Coal, iron ore, natural gas, beef, gold, wood chips, aluminum ingots, alumina, petroleum and petroleum products, wool.

(2) Investment

The stock of Japanese direct investment in Australia stands at AUD $52,334 million (the 3rd largest), as of the end of 2011.

Number of Nationals Resident in Each Country

  • Japanese residents in Australia: 78,664 (as of October 1, 2012)
  • Australian residents in Japan: 23,646 (as of December 31, 2012)

People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges

  • (1) Japan and Australia signed the Cultural Agreement in 1974, and the two countries have been conducting various cultural exchange programs, involving scholars, teachers, students, researchers, artists, athletes and others as well as a variety of exhibitions and performance, primarily through the Japan Foundation and the Australia-Japan Foundation.
  • (2) The Working Holiday program was initiated between Japan and Australia on 1 December 1980.
  • (3) 6 states and 101 cities in Australia have sister relationships with Japan, as of September 2010.
  • (4) Since the year 2006 marked the 30th anniversary of Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia, a variety of events to expand bilateral exchanges were conducted throughout the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange.
  • (5) As approximately 360,000 Australian students study Japanese, a report to link the Australian enthusiasm about studying Japanese to business promotions and higher educations was submitted in the 6th Australia-Japan Conference held in February 2010.