Australia and Japan celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Japan-Australia Commerce Agreement in 2017. The relationship has continued to prosper under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) which entered into force in January 2015. The two countries remain firm partners today and enjoy a relationship based on mutual trust, shared values and common interests.

Ambassador Sumio Kusaka shared his insights in to the Australia-Japan relationship with Synergy Media Specialists (SMS).

SMS: How would you describe the Australia–Japan bilateral relationship in light of last year’s 60th anniversary of the Japan-Australia Commerce Agreement?

Kusaka: The 1957 Japan-Australia Commerce Agreement paved the way for the development of a very prosperous and mutually beneficial economic and overall relationship. In recent years, the relationship has been elevated to a special strategic partnership and JAEPA has provided a further boost to bilateral trade and investment.

SMS: How important are agreements such as The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) considering the challenges currently being faced by the global economy?   

Kusaka: Given the rising protectionist sentiment and uncertainty around the world, Japan-Australia cooperation is now more important than ever, as evidenced by the leading role we played in bringing about an agreement on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

SMS: What can we expect in terms of the strengthening of the Japan-Australia bilateral relationship?

Kusaka: As we work toward realizing a free, open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, Japan and Australia will be the closest of partners, owing to our relationship based on mutual trust and shared values and interests.

SMS: As Japan and Australia continue to work closely together on a range of issues, what does the future hold?

Kusaka: Looking ahead, I am convinced that Japan and Australia will further expand our economic engagements in various areas, including resources, energy, agriculture and infrastructure, as well as defense and security cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, which are crucial to a longstanding relationship.

For exclusive economic indicators and more leadership insights on the Australia-Japan relationship, read the full report at: ww.synergymediaspecialists.com