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156 Australia-Japan Trade Negotiations: Australian Reply To Japanese Submission Of 5Th October 1956

17th October, 1956


1. The Australian Delegation has considered the submission of 5th
October, 1956 conveying the initial reactions of the Japanese
Government to the original Australian requests. [1] It is
appreciated by the Australian Delegation that, until the details
of some of the Australian requests are made available to the
Japanese Delegation, it is impossible to indicate the extent to
which these requests can be met. However, pending the arrival from
Tokyo of the other members of the Japanese Delegation, it is
considered preferable to concern ourselves with principles rather
than points of detail.

2. As stated in the paper conveying the Australian Delegation's
reactions to the Japanese requests, [2] we are endeavouring to
find ways and means of according most-favoured-nation tariff and
licensing treatment to imports from Japan. For our part we have
also requested most-favoured-nation treatment but we have found it
necessary to define our request in some detail due to
complications arising from State-trading practices, the exchange
allocation system and U.S. surplus disposal activity in Japan.

3. It is for these reasons that (i)(d) and (iii) of paragraph 4
were included in the Australian request list. [3] In other words
the accord of most-favoured-nation treatment can only be made
effective under these special conditions if the type of assurances
requested can be given. Similarly the present item in the Japanese
Customs Tariff relating to sugar discriminates in effect against
the Australian product in favour of other suppliers thereby
providing something less than most-favoured-nation treatment.

4. In paragraph 6 of the Australian request list it is suggested
that the proposed trade agreement should contain balance of
payments escape clauses. This would appear to cover the type of
problem envisaged by the Japanese Delegation should Japan's
balance of payments position necessitate some de-liberalisation of
her import control policies.

1 Document 151.

2 Document 152.

3 Document 146.

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