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Historical documents

109 Memorandum From Shaw To Department Of Immigration

9th August, 1955


Trade Talks with Japan: Admission of Japanese Traders to Australia
In November, 1954, the Japanese Embassy was informed that
Australia was willing to enter into talks with a view to examining
mutual trade problems. A statement explaining the Government's
decision was issued at that time by the Prime Minister.

For a number of reasons, especially Japan's pre-occupation with
GATT, no trade talks have so far been held. There have, however,
been a number of communications between the Embassy and this
Department. In particular in April, 1955, we conveyed a suggestion
that, before formal trade talks were held, there would be mutual
advantages in arranging informal and purely exploratory talks
between the Embassy and Australian officials representing the
Departments primarily concerned. Japan has now suggested that
these talks should commence towards the end of August (see
attached copy of record of conversation with the Japanese
Ambassador on 4th August [1]).

The Japanese have also indicated that one of the questions they
may wish to raise in these talks is the establishment in Australia
of branches of Japanese businesses. The only obstacle as far as
the Commonwealth is concerned arises from requirements regarding
admission of Japanese to Australia. We are aware that
consideration is being given to the placing of Japanese on the
same basis as other Asians. This would include removal of the
existing discrimination against Japanese and their dependents who
seek admission to Australia in order to operate businesses.

It would indeed be a helpful contribution to the success of the
talks with the Japanese if an early decision could be reached on
this matter. Your advice would be appreciated.

1 See Document 108.

[AA : A1838/283, 759/1/7, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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