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114 Memorandum From Shaw [1] To Departments Of Commerce &

12th October, 1955


Trade Talks with Japan
The delay in commencing informal trade talks with the Japanese is
becoming an embarrassment. As you know, the Prime Minister
announced as long ago as 17th November, 1954, that Australia
proposed to hold talks on mutual problems arising from trade
relations between this country and Japan.

2. The question of a formal agreement was initially postponed
until after the GATT Review Session. We later suggested to the
Japanese Government that preliminary informal trade talks would be
the most useful approach. The Japanese Embassy in Canberra has
asked us on several occasions when these talks might begin, and we
have been telling them that certain inter-departmental
consultations are a necessary preliminary for the talks to be

3. Our decision to invoke Article XXXV on Japan's accession to
GATT was made known on 10th September, and since then there have
been indications that the possibility of taking discriminatory
action against imports from countries which have invoked Article
XXXV, has been under consideration by the Japanese Government.

Some gesture towards liberalisation of our policy on trade with
Japan seems to be urgently called for.

4. It would be appreciated if you would give us your views on a
possible date and scope for the informal talks as soon as

1 The memorandum was drafted by External Affairs Cadet John Piper,
who was asked for 'a stiffish memo ... saying ... that we consider
it a matter of political moment that we should be able to give
[the Japanese] a clear indication of a date when the talks should

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