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Partnership Agenda Between Australia and Japan

Partnership Agenda Between Australia and Japan

Recognising the breadth of the links and exchanges at all walks of life
between Australia and Japan and wishing to promote deeper mutual understanding
and cooperation across the diverse range of shared interests in the bilateral,
regional and multilateral fields, the Governments of Australia and Japan,
pursuant to the 1995 Joint Declaration on the Australia-Japan Partnership,
are resolved to take the following actions:

1. Political Dialogue

The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue their cooperative
partnership through close dialogue at the highest levels, including through
annual meetings of the two Prime Ministers and meetings of the Australia-Japan
Ministerial Committee.

2. Security and Defence

Recognising the expanding bilateral security and defence dialogue and the
range of defence activities between the two countries and wishing to contribute
to the promotion of regional security, the Governments of Australia and Japan

  • further develop their security dialogue
    through annual Politico-Military and Military-Military Talks and senior level
    visits; and
  • examine ways to increase
    exchanges between the Australian Defence Forces and the Japan Self Defence
    Forces in areas of mutual professional interest, including defence education

3. Bilateral Economic and Trade Relations

Recognising the strong commercial ties between Australia and Japan and
building on the complementarity and growing diversification of their trade, the
two Governments will further advance Australia-Japan commercial relations in the
following areas:

(a) Promotion and Facilitation of Trade and Investment

The Governments of Australia and Japan will:

  • actively examine the feasibility
    of developing mutual recognition arrangements on conformity assessment and
    certification, including by convening a meeting of technical experts in 1997;
  • enhance the existing cooperation
    in the area of customs to increase the efficiency of customs procedures;
  • continue cooperative arrangements
    between the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the Japan External Trade
    Organization (JETRO) to promote exports to Japan, including improved
    collaboration on identifying market segments, promotional activities and events
    in Japan that best meet Australia's capability to supply;
  • cooperate on the electronic
    transfer of health certification data for meat by establishing an initial pilot
    program in 1997; and
  • exchange information on
    structural policy reforms necessary to underpin national productivity and
    economic growth, and on the contribution that research and institutional
    arrangements can make to the process of public policy development and community
    understanding of the benefits of greater productivity in all sectors of the

(b) Deregulation and Competition Policy

In order to develop links between public policy planners, the Government of
Australia will examine the feasibility of developing a program for a
Japanese-sponsored delegation of administrative reform planners to visit
Australia to study the Australian micro-economic reform experience. The
Government of Australia will also share its experiences on deregulation of the
economy and the role of competition policies by examining the feasibility of
holding a Japanese-sponsored seminar in Tokyo, possibly in collaboration with a
university in Tokyo.

(c) Tourism

In order to achieve the full potential of the growing tourism between
Australia and Japan, the two Governments will facilitate tourism development
through holding regular Australia-Japan Tourism Discussions and working together,
including with industry, to address perceived barriers to tourism. The
of Australia will also examine means of further facilitating entry for
short-term Japanese visitors.

(d) Housing and Building

In order to contribute to the reduction of housing construction costs in
Japan and promote two-way trade in this sector, the two Governments will
cooperate to improve mutual access to their markets

  • by promoting the mutual
    acceptance of test data concerning building materials and mutual recognition on
    building standards; in this connection, both countries will consider the way to
    utilise CSIRO as a facilitator; and
  • by exchanges of information on
    technical, certification and related issues, including performance-based
    building regulations through meetings of the Japan-Australia Building and
    Housing Committee.

(e) Energy

Given the central importance of the minerals and energy trade to both
Australia and Japan, the two Governments will cooperate to ensure its continued
viability. Both Governments affirm thevalue of the Japan-Australia High-Level
Group on Energy Forecasts and Energy Resource Development as an important forum
for the exchange of information and high-level policy discussion.

(f) Agriculture

In recognition of the diverse and long-standing agricultural partnership that
exists between Australia and Japan, the two Governments will continue informal
dialogue on agricultural matters of mutual interest, in order to facilitate
informal exchanges of views and build enhanced mutual understanding and

(g) Employment and Training

Recognising the substantial similarities of the challenges they face, the
Governments of Australia and Japan will enhance cooperation through exchanges of
government officials and the sharing of information on labour market policies.

(h) Transport

Following the establishment of high-level dialogue at officials level, the
two Governments will explore a range of issues, including infrastructure
development, airport noise management, liberalisation of the international
shipping market, substandard shipping and maritime safety.

4. Science and Technology

With science and technology links between Australia and Japan growing, and
recognising the substantial potential for increasing joint activities in this
area, the two Governments will explore further opportunities for cooperation in
a number of areas, including:

(a) Science and Technology Agreement

Australia and Japan will explore new areas of cooperation under the Agreement
between the Government of Japan and the Government of Australia on Cooperation
on Research and Development in Science and Technology. In this context, the two
Governments will continue to cooperate through the Japan-Australia Joint
Science and Technology Cooperation Committee.

(b) Information Technology

In order to facilitate collaborative research between Australian and Japanese
scientists, the Governments of Australia and Japan have confirmed their
intention to establish a high-performance computer and communications (HPCC)
link between the two countries.

(c) Commercial Application of Scientific Research andDevelopment

Recognising the growing diversification of commercially-based scientific
research and development between Australia and Japan, the two Governments will
explore increasing the commercial application of scientific research and
development through close contact between commercial and scientific research

(d) Others

The Governments of Australia and Japan will pursue research into cancer and
cardiovascular diseases through Australia-Japan collaborative research workshops
and personnel exchanges.

5. Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Recognising the growing importance of nuclear energy in regional energy use
and the importance of cooperating to ensure nuclear safety in the region, the
Governments of Australia and Japan will:

  • cooperate and promote mutual
    understanding in relation to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy including
    through high-level discussions under the annual Nuclear Policy Consultations;
  • support each other's efforts to
    develop an effective dialogue on nuclear energy issues, including within such
    forums as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Regional
    Cooperative Agreement for Research Development and Training related to Nuclear
    Science and Technology (RCA), the International Conference on Nuclear Cooperation
    in Asia (ICNCA) and successor conferences to the Tokyo Conference on Nuclear
    Safety in Asia held in November 1996; and
  • cooperate in the strengthened and
    efficient IAEA safeguards system and to ensure the effectiveness of nuclear
    export controls.

6. Education

Recognising the rapid development of ties in education -characterised by
growing numbers of students from each country studying in the other, the
increasing number of students and staff exchanges, expanding links between
Japanese and Australian education institutions and increased exchanges of
government officials - the Governments of Australia and Japan will collaborate

  • through sharing information on
    policies and programs on education;
  • through greater exchanges of
    personnel in the education sector, including staff of boards of education and
    school boards, university administrators, students, teachers, academics and
    government officials; and
  • through increased
    university-based research and development and expanded exchange of researchers.

7. Industrial Relations

With a view to promoting mutual understanding of respective industrial
relations environments, the Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to
exchange high-level Tripartite Industrial Relations Delegations between the two
countries approximately every three years. Following the last Japanese mission to
Australia in November 1995, the Government of Australia will consider sending a
Mission to Japan in 1998/99.

8. Cultural Exchanges

Recognising the importance of developing people-to-people contacts, the two
Governments will continue their efforts to encourage cultural exchanges,
including through the convening of the Australia-Japan Cultural Mixed

In order to commemorate a number of significant bilateral anniversaries
between 1996 and 1998, the two Governments have developed a range of
commemorative activities which are symbolically linked through a
jointly-developed "Friendship Anniversaries" logo.

9. International Policy Coordination

Building on their close political relationship, the Governments of Australia
and Japan will increase the coordination of their policies on key international
issues, both in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. In this context, the two
Governments will continue to work together in combating the global problem of
illicit narcotic drugs through the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and criminal
issues generally through the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice, particularly on measures to regulate firearms.

(a) Narcotics

The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to cooperate within such
multilateral Frameworks as the United Nations International Drug Control
Programme (UNDCP) and the Dublin Group to combat the illicit production of,
demand for, and traffic in, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and to
coordinate approaches to find ways to address this problem.


The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to cooperate against
terrorism within the framework of relevant international agreements to which
both are parties.

(c) Money Laundering

Endorsing APEC Joint Ministerial Statements by Finance Ministers which
recognise money laundering as a priority concern for the region, the Governments
of Australia and Japan will work together to promote the adoption of anti-money
laundering measures by countries in the region as well as globally, through the
Financial Action Task Force and the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

10. Environment

Given that Australia and Japan have similar interests and concerns in
international environment issues, the two Governments will exchange perspectives
and cooperate:

  • on approaches to greenhouse gas
    emissions, including activities implemented jointly and other cooperative
    activities in the run-up to the third Conference of the Parties to the Framework
    Convention on Climate Change in 1997;
  • on the outcomes of the UN General
    Assembly Special Session on Sustainable Development (UNGASS), and the
    discussions of the first meeting of the High-Level Committee of Ministers and
    Officials on the UN Environment Program (UNEP);
  • on biological diversity matters,
    including biosafety protocol negotiations, and the development of clearing
    house mechanisms;
  • on protection of coral reefs in
    South-East Asia and the Pacific under the International Coral Reef Initiative
    (ICRI), particularly through promoting implementation of the ICRI regional
    strategies developed for these regions;
  • on approaches to the development
    of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs);
  • on regional implementation of the
    Global Program of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from
    Land-Based Activities;
  • on the implementation of the
    Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy 1996-2000, with
    particular respect to the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network;
  • on the Geostationary
    Meteorological Satellite-5 System project and generally in the area of
    geostationary satellites carrying out meteorological observations;
  • on the Global Research Network
    System (GRNS) project to develop indicators of global change and create a human
    information network to improve global environment management;
  • on the development of the
    Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research;
  • by working together, in
    cooperation with other countries and the United Nations under the Global
    Mapping program, to promote the development of world-wide geographic data sets
    in support of natural disaster mitigation and global environmental and resource
    management; and
  • by promoting environmental
    education in the Asia-Pacific Region through the Asia-Pacific Symposium on
    Environmental Education and other actions on environmental education in this

11. Aid Cooperation

(a) Bilateral Cooperation

Recognising the commonality of their aid programs focused on the Asia-Pacific
region, and taking account of complementary aspects of their respective aid
programs, the Governments of Australia and Japan will strengthen their
coordination efforts through regular High-Level Aid Policy Talks. The two
Governments will consult on ongoing projects and explore opportunities to
new joint projects.

(b) Development of the Mekong River Basin

The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate for the sustainable
development of the Mekong River Basin. In this connection, both Governments will
continue to work closely in the Forum for Comprehensive Development of
Indo-China and note the useful dialogue initiated at the meeting of the
Infrastructure Working Committee of the Indo-China Development Forum in
1996 hosted by Australia and chaired by Japan.

12. Pacific Islands

As Australia and Japan share a common interest in the continuing development
of the Pacific Island states, the two Governments will strengthen their dialogue
on Pacific issues, including through the Post-South Pacific Forum Dialogue
process, and will focus in particular on the management of natural resources; and
economic and public management reforms. The two Governments will also cooperate
in developing a strong private sector in the Pacific Island countries involving,
inter alia, effective cooperation between, and coordination of, activities of
Pacific Islands Centre in Tokyo and the South Pacific Trade Commission in

13. Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

The Government of Japan will continue to support firmly Australia's
participation in Asia- Europe Meetings.

14. Regional Strategic and Security

The Governments of Australia and Japan are committed to building with
countries in the region a sense of trust, of shared interest, and of shared
responsibility for the region's future.

(a) United States' Contribution to Regional Stability

The Governments of Australia and Japan, in light of the recent re-affirmation
of their respective security relationships with the United States, and in joint
recognition of the vital contribution the United States makes to underpinning
the security of the Asia-Pacific region, will work together to sustain the
States' important regional role. This will be achieved through each country's
alliance with the United States and by supporting the constructive participation
by the United States in multilateral security dialogues.

(b) ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

Recognising the role regional multilateral security arrangements can play in
promoting peace and stability, the Governments of Australia and Japan will:

  • work together to further develop
    the ARF, including in the area of preventive diplomacy and approaches to
    conflicts, and to strengthen habits of dialogue, confidence-building and
    transparency which contribute to a sense of shared strategic and security
    interest among regional countries;
  • strengthen the substantive agenda
    of the Inter-sessional Group on Confidence-Building Measures working to achieve
    practical cooperative defence-related measures, particularly those contributing
    to increasing defence transparency and the avoidance of a regional arms race;
  • ensure that, consistent with the
    newly-agreed membership criteria, expansion of the ARF does not detract from
    its focus on security in the East Asia/Pacific and that all participants are
    fully consulted on new ARF members;
  • encourage broad participation in
    ARF processes by defence civilians and military personnel; and
  • encourage the ARF, through its
    consideration of non-proliferation and disarmament issues, to contribute to
    global efforts in non-proliferation and disarmament.

15. Arms Control, Disarmament and

The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to work closely in
support of global arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation norms,
particularly in the area of weapons of mass destruction, including through
annual disarmament talks and cooperation in relevant international forums, in
the interests of enhanced national and regional security, and will continue
their cooperation in promoting adherence to those norms in the Asia-Pacific

16. United Nations

(a) UN Reform

Recognising the importance of strengthening the UN and the contribution that
Japan can make as a member of the Security Council in 1997-98, the two
Governments will cooperate to advance the reforms of the organisation in a
balanced manner.

(b) Security Council Reform

The two Governments will work together in such forums as the General Assembly
Working Group towards achieving reform of the Security Council, including
expansion of permanent membership. In this connection, Australia reconfirms its
strong support for Japan's permanent membership of the Security Council.

(c) Financial Reform

Noting that a solid financial base and sound and effective financial
management are essential for the UN to cope with the challenges of the 21st
century, the Governments of Australia and Japan will promote reforms in
financial areas, together with reforms in other areas, in order to achieve in a
balanced manner the reform of the UN as a whole.

(d) Development

The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate to promote the idea of
a new development strategy based on a global partnership of all countries and to
advance reform of the UN system by increasing its effectiveness, improving
coordination among UN organisations and agencies so that their activities bring
about tangible benefits to developing countries.

(e) Economic and Social Council of Asia and the Pacific(ESCAP)

Given ESCAP's special role in the Asia-Pacific region, the Governments of
Australia and Japan will work together to avoid a division amongst ESCAP
members, while promoting the implementation of a graduated approach to reforming
the organisation which is sensitive to the needs of the developing countries in
the region.

(f) Human Rights

Recognising that democracy, development and human rights are inter dependent
and mutually reinforcing, the Governments of Australia and Japan will promote
consultation on human rights issues and explore effective and efficient ways of
promoting human rights internationally through UN agencies and other forums, and
through support of non-governmental institutions and arrangements.

(g) UN Peacekeeping

The Governments of Australia and Japan will pursue opportunities for
cooperation in UN peacekeeping. In particular, the two Governments will explore
ways to draw on their experience in UN peacekeeping operations.

17. APEC Issues

The Governments of Australia and Japan, reaffirming their commitment to a
number of objectives and goals including achieving the long-term goal of free
and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010/2020 as stated
at Bogor and in accordance with the Osaka Action Agenda, will work together,
inter alia, in the following areas:

(a) Facilitation and Liberalisation of Trade and Investment

The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate:

  • to continuously and substantially
    improve their respective Individual Action Plans (IAPs) by including measures
    which go beyond respective multilateral and regional commitments, taking into
    account the private business sector's views and requests;
  • to develop joint APEC initiatives
    to support and reinforce the multilateral trading system under the WTO;
  • to promote early voluntary
    sectoral liberalisation in areas which would have a positive impact on trade,
    investment and economic growth;
  • to intensify work on enhancing
    the environment for investment; and
  • to advance APEC's trade
    facilitation agenda in areas of common interest, reflecting particularly the
    priorities identified by ABAC and the business sector.

(b) Economic and Technical Cooperation

The Governments of Australia and Japan will cooperate to further promote
economic and technical cooperation in order to achieve sustainable growth and
equitable development in the Asia-Pacific region.

(c) APEC Food Task Force

The Governments of Australia and Japan will also cooperate in further
discussions on the APEC Leaders' Initiative on the impact of expanding
population and economic growth on food, energy and the environment (FEEEP) as
our long-term agenda, in particular as co-chairs of the Task Force on Food.

(d) Transport

The Governments of Australia and Japan will expand cooperation in transport
areas such as maritime initiative, the Electronic Data Interchange Project and
the Road Transport Harmonisation Project.

(e) Energy

Recognising that regional energy challenges will assume greater importance
over the next decade as demand in many countries in the region is expected to
rise significantly, Australia and Japan will cooperate closely on promoting
better understanding of regional energy issues, mobilising capital for power
infrastructure growth, mitigating environmental impacts concurrently with the
enhancement of economic development, and reducing costs through cooperation on
energy standards.

18. Cooperation on International Trade and

(a) WTO

The Governments of Australia and Japan share a common commitment to the
primacy of the multilateral trading system under the WTO and recognise the need
to strengthen it to promote further trade liberalisation and economic growth.
The two Governments will work closely in pursuing an effective WTO work program
following the Singapore Ministerial Conference, in particular a successful
conclusion of WTO negotiations on financial services.

The two Governments share common interests in new WTO work on issues arising
from the globalised economy such as trade and investment, trade and competition
policy and transparency in government procurement, and will work together in the
WTO and relevant forums to ensure that regional trading arrangements are
complementary to the WTO and consistent with its rules.

The two Governments confirm their support for universal membership of the WTO
and the early accession of applicants based upon commercially meaningful market
access commitments while preserving the integrity of WTO rules.

The two Governments will also work together to ensure a substantive and
forward-looking outcome from the 1998 WTO Ministerial Conference that further
strengthens the WTO as aforum for negotiation and liberalisation of world trade
within a rules-based system, particularly through the built-in agenda of reviews
and further negotiations and the work programme agreed at the 1996 WTO
Ministerial Conference.

(b) OECD

Recognising the valuable work undertaken in the OECD on a wide range of
economic issues of critical importance to Australia and Japan, the two
Governments will strengthen their cooperation in, and coordination of,
approaches to the OECD. Issues of immediate concern include administrative
reform and better prioritisation of work in the Organisation. Both Governments
will also strive to have the OECD give more attention to economic issues in the
Asia Pacific region.

(c) The Governments of Australia and Japan will continue to exchange views on
issues discussed at Summits of The Eight.

Last Updated: 24 January 2013
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