125 Record Of Conversation By Brennan [1]

13th March, 1956


Economic Relations between Australia and Japan

Mr Uyama called at his own request to enquire what progress was being made on the matters raised during his visit on 6th February 1956: (vide para 5 of Record of Conversation). [2] He said that the Japanese Government was being pressed by organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce to conclude agreements with countries like Australia. He said that, while the Japanese Government could understand that progress would not be rapid, particularly since the attitude of some people in Australia is affected by 'the bitter memories of the war' organisations in Japan could not so easily understand.

2. It was explained to Mr Uyama that we had commenced preliminary discussions with the interested Departments but that progress had been slow and was likely to remain so. We had not concluded Treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation with any country, and the conclusion with Japan of agreements covering many of the matters normally dealt with in such a treaty would represent for us, in many cases, the establishment of precedents. Mr Uyama was asked to assure his government that its representations were not being overlooked, but that progress was likely to be slow.

3. On 6th February, 1956, Mr Shaw had asked what would be the position of Australians in Japan after the lapse on 28th April, 1956, of Article 12 of the Peace Treaty with Japan which requires Japan to give most-favoured-nation treatment or national treatment in respect of certain specified matters to the extent that most- favoured-nation or national treatment is accorded by (in our case) Australia. Mr Uyama said that he had been notified by Tokyo that the position would remain unchanged. Japan will continue to give most-favoured-nation or national treatment to Australia to the extent that Australia extends such treatment to Japan.

1 W.L. Morrison was also present.

2 On 6 February, in view of the decision not to negotiate a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, Shaw had suggested that each of the items listed on Uyama's Initial Statement (Document 119), aside from those being considered in the trade talks, be discussed and agreed separately. Uyama agreed, adding that he wished to concentrate on seven issues: entry, stay, travelling and residence; business activities; establishment of companies, branches and other establishments appropriate to the conduct of business; foreign exchange control; entry of goods; customs tariff; treatment of ships.

[AA : A571/158, 57/2092, i]