Section 2. Oceania
Relations between Japan and Australia have expanded and developed through dialogue at various levels not only in the fields of trade and economy but also in other fields. Recent events contributing to promotion of bilateral relations included a visit to Japan of Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke in May 1986, the Ninth Japan-Australia Ministerial Committee meeting held in Canberra in January 1987 and other various government consultations.
In economic fields, Japan and Australia exchanged investment missions in response to an agreement at earlier summit talks, establishing new cooperative ties in addition to the traditional complementary trade relations. An Australian investment mission, led by Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce John Button, visited Japan in November 1985. A Japanese investment climate survey mission, including Naohiro Amaya, adviser to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, visited Australia in February 1987.
The two countries have enhanced political relations as well. At the Ninth Japan-Australia Ministerial Committee meeting, they agreed to closely consult with each other on cooperation with Pacific island countries.
(2) New Zealand
Japan and New Zealand have smoothly developed their ties mainly in complementary trade relations. Japan has become the largest trading partner for New Zealand in terms of two-way trade.
The two countries had a frequent exchange of government leaders' visits in the past year for discussions on not only bilateral relations but also the international political and economic situation, especially the South Pacific situation. Foreign Minister Tadashi Kuranari, and Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mutsuki Kato, visited New Zealand, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Dr. Geoffrey Palmer, came to Japan. The two nations also had governmental working-level consultations to deal with a wide range of matters, deepening their relations as Asian-Pacific partners.
In addition to the government-to-government relations, the two countries have further promoted overall personnel, cultural exchanges at all the levels including exchanges between municipal governments.
(3) South Pacific
South Pacific island nations are seeking to diversify sources of assistance to them and enhance relations with Japan, also a country of the Pacific region.
The South Pacific Forum at its 16th meeting in 1985 adopted a communique urging strengthening of dialogue with Japan. A similar communique was approved at its 17th meeting in 1986, where the forum sought Japan's even greater assistance for telecommunications, Pacific regional shipping and development of smaller island countries such as Tuvalu. In response to such call, Japan has made efforts to further deepen relations with South Pacific island nations. In such efforts, then Parliamentary Vice Foreign Minister Yasuoki Urano toured Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji in July 1986. Foreign Minister Kuranari also visited those island countries after Australia and New Zealand in January 1987. Kuranari delivered an address, titled "Working towards the Pacific Future Community," in Fiji to specify Japan's five-point policy on South Pacific island nations. He stated that Japan would (1) respect independence and autonomous initiatives of the island nations, (2) support regional cooperation, (3) strive to preserve the political stability of the Pacific island region, (4) assist regional economic prosperity and (5) promote personnel exchanges. The Japanese policy has been supported not only by nations in this region but also by other nations concerned.
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