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94 Record Of Conversation By Upton

30th December, 1954


Trade with Japan
Mr Nishi presented a note [1] replying to the Minister's note of
17th November [2] suggesting trade talks between Australia and
Japan. In presenting the note, Mr Nishi said that the note should
not be regarded as a rejection of the Australian approach.

However, the Japanese Government was anxious that talks should
have some assurance of being successful before they were
commenced. For this reason they hoped for some understanding about
the scope of the talks before they were initiated. He said he
would appreciate an opportunity informally to discuss our reaction
to the Japanese note before a formal reply was sent.

In receiving the note Mr Plimsoll said that he was unable to add
to what had already been conveyed to Mr Nishi. Our ideas on the
scope of the talks were not firm and we had been awaiting Japan's
reaction to our approach. The Japanese note would, however, be
passed on to the Departments concerned and we would give a
reaction as soon as possible.

In response to an enquiry as to what matters the Japanese
authorities would wish to have discussed, Mr Nishi mentioned:

(a) Tariffs. He said that this was now the most important question
and Japan hoped that Australia would agree to their accession to
G.A.T.T. and to enter into G.A.T.T. tariff regulations.

(b) Import licensing. There was still some discrimination.

(c) The question of establishing branches of Japanese firms in
Australia and of opening a branch of the Tokyo Bank in Sydney
which he had mentioned to Mr Shaw on 17th November. [3]

Mr Upton said that some information had been gathered about the
questions in (c) above and he intended to pass it on to Mr
Yamamoto soon. Briefly though, approval could not be given for the
admission of Japanese nationals to establish branches of Japanese
firms in Australia although they could come to Australia for short
business visits. The question of conditions governing the entry to
and stay in Australia of non-Europeans was being reviewed. The
refusal of the Tokyo Bank's application was based on purely
banking considerations and the fact that the request had come from
a Japanese Bank had had no bearing in the decision.

Mr Plimsoll remarked that he assumed that there were arrangements
in effect whereby Australian banks acted as agents for Japanese
banks and vice-versa.

There was some discussion on the G.A.T.T. Review. Mr Nishi was
informed that no finality had yet been reached and discussions
appeared likely to last for several more weeks at least. It would
then be necessary for Governments to consider their attitude to
the results of the Review.

1 Document 93.

2 Document 90.

3 See Document 91.

[AA : A1838/278, 3103/10/2, iii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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