The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia visited Japan on 18 January. To welcome, the Japan-Australia Business Co-operation Committee (JABCC), with the assistance of ANZCCJ and a number of other organisations, hosted a business luncheon for the Japan and Australia business community. The event, located at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, included a select group of ANZCCJ members and guests.
In his address to the audience, Prime Minister Turnbull reinforced the importance of Australia-Japan’s economic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region, calling the two countries regional powers with global interest. Reflecting on the 55 year strong commercial and economic relations between Australia and Japan, Prime Minister Turnbull urged both countries to lead the way in strengthening innovation, the free flow of people, capital and ideas.
Praising Japan as a “beacon of political and economic stability”, Prime Minister Turnbull mentioned several key successes of Abenomics, commenting that the Japanese stock market was at a twenty year high, corporate profits at record levels, and a remarkably low unemployment rate.
Discussing his government’s recent 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, Prime Minister Turnbull argued that as a consequence of the international system being under “the greatest stress since its inception in the 1940s”, the need for regional leadership between Australia and Japan has never been more necessary.
Focusing particularly on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) negotiations, both Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan concur that the agreement will effectively deliver sustainability of free and open markets, promise greater transparency, stronger rule of law, and bring the trading system into the digital world. The Prime Minister said that CPTPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will level the playing field for business and trade relations internationally, subsequently pursuing an effective global rules-based system. The Prime Minister also said that Australia and Japan should continue to work strategically on defence and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, where the security environment has become more challenging.
Prime Minister Turnbull concluded by reinforcing Australia and Japan’s shared interests in achieving a global trade environment which allows for the free flowing of goods, services, capital and ideas within an effective rules-based framework.
During his visit the Prime Minister also inspected the Australian Bushmaster defence vehicles which had been procured by the Japanese Minister of Defence and the Japan Ground Self Defence Force at the Narashino Training area, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The Prime Minister’s trip concluded with a dinner with Prime Minister Abe, where the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region was further discussed. An online copy of the statement issued by the two leaders can be found here.
ANZCCJ would like to express thanks to the JABCC for their organisation of this successful event, and to Prime Minister Turnbull for taking the time to address our members and providing his valuable insight.