• 31 Jul 2017 10:53 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)
    25 July 2017

    Again, thank you Ambassador Court.  It is very fitting to have you speak tonight given the critical role both your father and yourself have played in fostering key relationships in Western Australia that have made the Japan Australia connection so much stronger. I do note that last year Qantas showed great wisdom by putting on a direct flight to Australia's greatest city and my hometown, Melbourne, and Japan Airlines also see where the future lies as they will commence a direct flight later this year. 

    From the Japanese side we have with us tonight Mimura san, Kojima san and Aisawa sensei who over many years have been tremendous guardians of the Japan Australia relationship and have helped drive initiatives that have brought our countries closer together.  

    Odawara sensei, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has also kindly joined us tonight and we look forward to his support in helping us reach new heights in the future. 

    As Ambassador Court indicated the 1957 Commerce Agreement was the birth of not only a strong and trusting partnership between our two countries, but a true and lasting friendship as well.

    60 years ago our two nations came together to achieve something remarkable. At a time not so long after significant conflict and with skeptics raising opposition, a few visionaries from Japan and Australia had the foresight and wisdom to recognise that our futures were always going to be brighter when we worked together and built relationships based on trust and exchange.

    In Australia we realised that our future was, and is always, going to be linked intimately with Asia. We could not try to ignore this part of the world and stay in our own little bubble.  There was a need to build strong and lasting partnerships with our neighbours in order to foster a more prosperous region for all.

    Following this realisation, our forebears saw an opportunity in a people and country that was reemerging after a turbulent period. It may be difficult to comprehend now but back then there were many countries around the world who grossly underestimated what a relationship with Japan could bring. But tonight we must thank those who were brave enough to look beyond and see what could bind us together, rather than what could separate us.

    As a result of this way of thinking, on the 6th July 60 years ago, the Australia-Japan Commerce Agreement was signed. When it came into effect many in both Australia and Japan could not begin to imagine how it would turn out – it was the first agreement of its kind for Japan. However, with the benefit of hindsight we now know just how significantly it would shape our ongoing relations.

    The commercial agreement set the foundations for a relationship which would continue to develop and strengthen over the following decades. The shared values and common goals that bind us together led us to forge links over trade, security, and to cooperate in our shared belief in a rules-based international order.

    Then in January 2015, following the traditions established in 1957, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force. Much like the 1957 treaty, this new arrangement broke new ground as it was one of the most liberalising trade agreements Japan has ever signed. It reinforced the strength and uniqueness of our relationship as we tore down old barriers and worked to establish a new era of free and open trade relations.

    These treaties have been key steps on a long journey that has seen our two nations become indispensable trading partners as well as good friends. From humble beginnings, Japan has become Australia's second largest export market, worth $39 billion dollars annually, our third-largest trading partner, and as Ambassador Court noted, our largest source of foreign direct investment. 

    Much like the diverse nature of our two countries, trade between us covers a wide range of goods and services. From natural resources, to agricultural products, to automobiles and electronics, the products and ideas that move between us have defined the way that we live our lives and built links that extend beyond commerce alone.

    So tonight as we reflect on these past 60 years, it is clear that the signing of the Australia-Japan Agreement on Commerce was instrumental in laying the foundations upon which we could build this wonderful friendship. Much like those who worked tirelessly to bring this vision for a trade relationship into reality, we too are here tonight because we believe in the opportunities that we can offer each other. Looking around at those present here tonight, I am very confident in saying that I believe our future is bright indeed.

    There is however much work still to do. We need to open the eyes of Boards in Australia to the real and exciting opportunities that exist in Japan. The glitzy lights of China can look enticing but often don't deliver the depth of relationship, win-win investment, quality of product or shared values that exist when working with our Japanese partners. As an example, despite being in Japan for nearly 30 years, the Board of the organisation I work for, Lendlease, has been slow to understand Japan. However, with high level visits over recent years have come eye opening experiences. We are now embarking on a large scale Joint Venture with a Japanese telecoms player in the US, have Mitsubishi Estate as partners on real estate developments in Sydney and Melbourne, have the likes of Development Bank of Japan, SMBC and Mizuno as integral partners and have grown our team in Japan to over 400 people.  As a chamber we must work harder to open the eyes of many more Australian Boards. 

    Similarly, the profile of Australia in Japan has room to grow. The food security provided by the likes of MLA can not be underestimated, the contribution of Rio Tinto to Japanese industry not overlooked and going forward the smarts and global experience of companies such as Macquarie, ANZ and CBA should be leveraged to help drive Japanese success further. 

    The great thing is that through the 1957 agreement we are in a position to make things happen.  It is cause to celebrate. 

    Finally, I would like to introduce one of the most important Australians, in fact the most important Australian in the Australia Japan relationship over the last 20 years. She has worked tirelessly fostering the deepest relationships any Australian has with senior Japanese politicians and executives. She has guided government on both sides to come to compromise so that important initiatives such as JAEPA have come to fruition. She has brought Japanese farmers to Australia in an effort to improve productivity and understanding, she has provided hope and encouragement to many in Tohoku since the terrible Tsunami. She led the Chamber for 6 years and is owed much. Melanie Brock please come to the stage. 

  • 28 Jul 2017 2:56 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

    I am delighted to launch Austrade’s report Japanese Investment in Australia- A Trusted
    Partnership today.

    This report recognises and celebrates the significant role of Japanese investment in Australia. It reinforces the clear message that Australia welcomes productive foreign investment, consistent with our national interest, from around the world, including Japan. While recognising the long history of our investment relationship, importantly, it looks to the future and to new areas of investment cooperation emerging with Japan.

    The launch coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Agreement on Commerce signed by our two countries in July 1957.

    This agreement set the foundation for closer bilateral ties between Japan and Australia, one built on trust, shared values and common approaches to economic cooperation.

    The agreement had its critics, but it was a clear sign that Sir Robert Menzies’ Government recognised a strong trade and investment relationship with Asia would be a key driver of Australia’s future prosperity.

    Some of Australia’s largest export industries in resources and energy, such as iron ore, coal and LNG, were underpinned by significant and sustained Japanese investment. Think of the opening up of the riches of the iron ore of the Pilbara, the coal of the Bowen Basin and the LNG of the North-West Shelf.

    Long-term purchase contracts by Japanese buyers, in particular, from trading houses, major Japanese steel mills and power companies, were a catalyst for Australian and other
    international joint venture partners to invest in these multibillion dollar minerals and energy projects.

    These large and complex resources and energy projects have driven regional development, created tens of thousands of jobs for Australians, and generated billions in export income. They also fuelled the rapid industrialisation of Japan, boosting prosperity for the people of Japan and bringing our countries ever-closer through shared commercial, political, strategic and people-to-people links.

    Today, Japan is our second largest export market and second largest source of foreign direct investment after the US – and its investment in our country continues to grow.

    The report highlights that from 2010 and 2016, the stock of Japanese direct investment in Australia increased by 78 per cent to over A$91 billion.

    In terms of reinvestment, Japanese companies lead the way. They invested around A$4
    billion in 2016 into Australian subsidiaries, greater than reinvestment from UK and US
    companies. As these Japanese companies maintain an ongoing presence in Australia, their investments are diversifying into new sectors.

    In innovation and technology, Australia continues to be an ideal testing ground for Japan’s R&D, and a platform for expansion into other Asian and Western markets.

    NEC and Fujitsu representatives are here with us today and they have both established major R&D hubs in Australia which are an integral part of technology solutions. These hubs also tap into Australian talent, and look to the jobs of future in the tech sectors.

    We are also seeing major Japanese companies invest in Australia’s services sector and in manufacturing.

    Services are an important part of the Australian economy and equates to around 75 per cent of our GDP.

    I am delighted to be here today at Oji Fibre Solutions soon-to-be-completed world-class
    manufacturing facility, the result of A$72 million investment that will create more than 70 jobs by 2019.

    Oji Fibre Solutions’ new facility is a good example of innovation that will introduce new manufacturing technology, opening up new prospects for food exporters in Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

    Set to operate with a 5 star Green Star environmental rating, it will consume less water and electricity than comparable packaging companies.


    Oji’s packaging technology enhances Australian exporters’ premium goods offering to highend consumers in Asia, by ensuring the goods arrive in pristine condition. That means this Japanese investment not only creates jobs directly in the facility, but also boosts the chance for more jobs in the high-end food production sectors in Australia.

    Investments such as Oji’s are a very real example of how the Japan-Australia Economic
    Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), or the Japan-Australia FTA, is delivering prosperity and jobs around our country.

    By providing better access for Australian agribusiness and food and beverage exporters,
    JAEPA delivers not just benefits for primary producers – and we are proud that Australia is the only major agricultural exporter to have a high-quality FTA with Japan - but is stimulating new rounds of business investment with jobs during the construction phase and new manufacturing jobs on an ongoing basis

    So I would like to congratulate Oji Fibre Solutions for their foresight in establishing this
    state- of-the-art manufacturing facility.

    It is yet another example of the many and varied ways our two countries cooperate in
    commerce, for mutual benefit. Please accept my best wishes for the success of this venture and for the further development of your links within Australia.

    Thank you.

    Austrade - Japan Investment in Australia - launced 28 July 2017.pdf

  • 28 Jul 2017 9:44 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Qantas Announces New Seasonal Flights Between Osaka and Sydney

    Osaka, 27 July 2016 – Qantas will launch new non-stop, seasonal flights between Osaka and Sydney in response to the boom in travel between Japan and Australia. 

    From 14 December 2017 until 24 March 2018, Qantas will operate three flights per week using its two-class Airbus A330 aircraft.*
    The route – which will be the only direct flight between the two cities – adds to the airline’s popular Tokyo (Haneda)-Sydney, Tokyo (Narita)-Brisbane and Tokyo (Narita)-Melbourne services providing options for triangular itineraries, and compliments Jetstar’s Osaka-Cairns service. Jetstar also flies from Tokyo (Narita) to Cairns and the Gold Coast.

    Qantas’ Osaka-Sydney service will connect to its large domestic and trans-Tasman networks and Jetstar Japan’s extensive domestic network, providing good onward travel opportunities at both ends of the new route. 

    Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the addition of Osaka to the Qantas network offers another gateway for customers travelling to Australia.

    “This December we celebrate 70 years of flying to Japan and we’re delighted to add another destination to the growing list of services Qantas operates between the two countries at a time when travel to Australia is booming,” said Mr Evans.

    “Our commitment to the Japanese market is reflective of the strength of this growth, which we are very well placed to support with the largest Australia-Japan network, the largest domestic network in Australia, and the largest low-cost domestic network across Japan through Jetstar Japan.

    “Australia is a highly sought-after destination for Japanese tourists with many staying longer and spending more while they are here. And with the Free Trade Agreement in place, the new route opens up more opportunities for companies to explore and build business in new regions, further strengthening the trade relationship between the two countries.

    “For Australian travelers, this service will appeal to those looking to explore the historic Kansai region and the surrounding areas.  And with a number of exciting events being hosted in Japan in coming years, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are expecting to see travel between the two countries grow well into the future,” added Mr Evans. 

    Read the media release in English and Japanese

  • 14 Jul 2017 10:48 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Media release | 13 July 2017

    Sydney will be home to a world leading startup and innovation hub, creating up to 6,500 new jobs, thanks to a $35 million investment from the NSW Government.

    Sydney Startup Hub will be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and will allow entrepreneurs to develop innovative business ideas that will create job opportunities across regional and metro NSW.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced today Jobs for NSW will fund the hub, which will be spread over more than 17,000 square meters and 11 floors.

    “This is an unprecedented investment from the NSW Government, which will support businesses and drive jobs growth across the State,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “When Sydney Startup Hub opens it will be in a central location to help both local and international entrepreneurs flourish.

    “More than 40 per cent of the nation’s startups are in NSW already and with the addition of this hub and the White Bay precinct we want to see that figure grow.”

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro, today announced the NSW Government is backing the success of the Sydney Startup Hub, which will be located on York Street in the Sydney CBD.

    “The Sydney Startup Hub will support businesses, turbocharge the startup ecosystem, and drive job creation across the State,” Mr Barilaro said.

    “The NSW Government is pleased to include a fantastic roll call of tenants including; Stone and Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio.

    “We are leaving no stone unturned. In addition to the 2,500 residents, the hub will welcome regional entrepreneurs from the wider startup ecosystem through the regional landing pad and community and events space.”

    For further information visit:

  • 12 Jul 2017 12:58 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Photo credit:

    Trade officials from the Pacific Rim trade initiative are commencing talks today in the Japanese mountain town of Hakone, west of Tokyo. The meetings are aimed at reworking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement whose future had been hanging in the balance ever since the U.S left treaty negotiations.

    The talks follow from a joint Ministerial Statement released after  meetings at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in May, 2017. Eleven countries, including long term supporters of the TPP, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, are attending.

    This renewed push has been led by Japan and New Zealand, the only two countries who had ratified the original treaty. New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said back in May that New Zealand was “committed to progressing a TPP agreement because we believe that it’s in our region’s interest, it’s in the interest of our countries and it’s in the interest of global stability”.

    The talks face some tough decisions regarding reworking the agreement, as the original wording and commencement mechanisms relied on the United States and their economic size. However, the remaining countries are optimistic that a new agreement can be reached and offer genuine economic opportunities.

    It is hoped that any deal would set high standards over trade rules, labour, environmental and intellectual property protections, ensuring a level of standardisation in order to make business easier and more efficient.

    The officials in Hakone reportedly are aiming to make real progress in their negotiations before the Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam in November.

    You can find the TPP Partner's Statement and Ministerial Statement from May on the DFAT website: Here

    You can also find the Ministerial Statement on the New Zealand Government website: Here

    For media inquiries please contact ANZCCJ Executive Director at

  • 08 Jul 2017 9:00 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Another example of the potential for growth in the FinTech industry between Australia and Japan. Marubeni Corporation, together with Mizuho Financial Group and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance have successfully completed a trial transaction between Japan and Australia entirely over a Blockchain network.

    "Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT). It utilizes a system of consensus formation among participants to enable transactions to take place even in the absence of a trusted central authority."  (Marubeni Corporation 2017)

    Financial transactions, which usually take days to process, can be cut down to just hours using this new form of financial technology (FinTech). 

    Additionally,  the decentralised nature of the technology provides unprecedented levels of security against fraud and processing errors. In a previous trial of blockchain technology conducted in 2016, Mizuho claimed it was “practically impossible to tamper with transaction histories”.

    Faster transaction times, increased transaction transparency and bolstered security are just some of the potential benefits found by the trial. 

    Further improvements in productivity are waiting to be unlocked as the uptake of this rapidly improving technology becomes more widespread.

    Read Marubeni's press release here

  • 06 Jul 2017 10:01 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)


    Photo Credit: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

    Article by James Grimes, ANZCCJ Secretariat

    60 years ago today, history was made in the relationship between Australia and Japan. On the 6th of July 1957, despite the forces of the then not so distant history and the weight of public opinion, our two countries came together to sign a trade agreement that would shape the direction of ongoing relations between Australia and Japan for decades to come. Indeed, even today the legacy of this agreement can still be felt and understood as one of the earliest foundations of our great friendship and strong partnership.

    The remarkableness of this achievement cannot be understated. At the time Australian Government officials faced a punishing uphill task in convincing the Australian public of the value of any trade deal with Japan, for at that time memories of the recent conflict were still fresh. However, these officials, such as Minister for Trade John McEwen, realised that our future was, and is always, going to be linked intimately with Asia. As a result and thanks to the foresight of those who were brave enough to look beyond and see what could bind us together, rather than what could separate us, we broke new ground and made an extraordinary dream of a more prosperous and secure region become reality.

    The treaty was the first of its kind for Japan, significantly lowering tariffs and granting favoured nation status between much of the trade between Australia and Japan. When it came into effect, for many it was like walking into the unknown. We did not know what the exact impacts would be and the way events would play out. As fortune would have it, the agreement not only helped to pave the way forward for both Australia and Japan’s ongoing economic growth, but it also laid the foundations for a truly special relationship between our two countries for decades to come.

    Within a decade, Japan had overtaken the United Kingdom to become Australia’s largest export market and one of our most significant trading partners. The agreement was instrumental in establishing the relationships and mutual trust required for further treaties, such as the 1963 rework of the original 1957 agreement, the 1976 Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, the 1995 Join Declaration on the Australia-Japan Partnership, and then most recently the 2014 Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. The 2014 agreement deserves to be regarded as the spiritual successor to the original 1957 treaty, for as one of the most liberalising trade agreements Japan has ever signed, it too follows in the tradition of breaking down barriers and reinforcing our two nation’s position as key partners and good friends.

    Even today, 60 years later, Japan is still Australia’s third highest trading partner, with two-way goods and services trade valued at over $60 billion dollars. The goods and services that move between our countries are as varied as our nations themselves, covering natural resources, agricultural products, automobiles, electronics, financial and legal services, education, as well as investment and the development of technology.

    These connections have led to the creation of links that transcend commerce alone. Tourism between our two countries is booming, a trend that began in the late 50’s after the signing of the original commerce treaty. With the increased exposure to the idea of Japan as a partner and a friend, Australian airlines faced significant pressure as demand outstripped supply in regards to flights to and from Japan. This curiosity and desire to see and learn more about each other’s cultures is something that is still felt by people today.

    We are two countries bound by shared values, common goals and a belief in the value of the rules-based international order. Our friendship has deepened over the past 60 years, and our ties have become stronger. Much of the work we have done together and the accomplishments we have achieved stem from the ground that was broken 60 years ago when Australia and Japan overcame adversity and the weight of history to step forward into a shared and bright future.

    This legacy is one that we carry forward as we continue to work together, as partners, as friends, and as colleagues. The Chamber is excited to continue this tradition of fostering these ongoing relationships as we look forward to the next 60 years of Australian and Japanese relations.

    For media inquiries please contact the ANZCCJ Executive Director at:

  • 30 Jun 2017 10:19 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    The Rt. Hon. Bill English, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and his wife visited Japan for an official working visit from Tuesday, 16 May to Thursday 18 May 2017. During his stay, the Prime Minister met with Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe, and visited a number of key locations in Japan which have strong trade links with New Zealand.

    To mark the occasion, the New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton has written a letter detailing the Prime Minister’s visit, and thanking the Japanese government, as well as Australian and New Zealand colleagues and friends in Japan for marking the occasion.

    Prime Minister English had previously visited Japan in his previous ministerial posts, but this was his first trip to Japan as Prime Minister, and the visit further reinforced and strengthened the relationship between Japan and New Zealand.

    To read HE Stephen Payton’s Thank you letter, click here

    To read the Prime Ministers’ Joint Press Release, click here

  • 21 Jun 2017 2:33 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)
    As of 21 July, Air New Zealand will be flying into Haneda Airport. Air New Zealand currently operates daily flights to Narita, increasing to 10 times a week over the peak months. From 21 July, the three additional peak services will operate to Haneda Airport. Using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the Haneda services will depart Auckland on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
    Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace said the direct Auckland-Haneda Tokyo route would offer more choice for customers traveling to and from Japan.  

  • 19 Jun 2017 5:08 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Boosting productivity by changing the way we work: A look at the third arrow of Abenomics

    19 June 2017

    By Eve Bentley

    As part of the ANZCCJ’s Abenomics event series, we held a lunchtime networking event at the Roppongi Hills Club featuring keynote speech from Gaku Hashimoto, Japanese State Minister for State Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. Given the complexities of the Japanese social economy, there has been increasing efforts to create innovative solutions from Japanese corporations and the government in order to address these concerns.  Exemplifying this, the event featured four panellists from four respective companies in Japan, each addressing the promotion of productivity in the workplace with varying strategies.

    Minister Hashimoto outlined a number of measures under the governmental framework towards Japan’s Work Style Reform. Given Japan’s unique demographic context of an aging population and low birth-rate, it is essential for the Japanese government to attempt regulation in some areas in order to facilitate the continuation of productivity and labour participation. Issues that he addressed include those such as overtime work, fairness in salaries for regular and non-regular workers and balancing childcare to encourage men to take a greater role in parenting, as well as encouraging the elderly and women greater flexibility and access in workplace opportunities. These issues are inherently complex, and the government relies on corporations to embrace and include these in their operations. As such, our panellists gave a number of highly relevant examples of boosting productivity through addressing the issues Hashimoto discussed, which in turn provided inspiration to the many guests representing a number of corporate spheres in Japan. 

    Our panellists for this instalment of the Abenomics series included; Mr Senri Tanida, President of Tanita Corporation, Mr Taku Nishimura, President of SOW Experience, Ms Shizuka Aone, Head of Corporate Affairs at Lendlease Japan and finally Mr Laurent Gachet, CEO of Edenred Japan. 

    Tanita Corporation – a new ANZCCJ member, monitors its employees’ health and wellbeing through the use of nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Improving productivity through this monitoring system has allowed for Tanita to reduce its employee’s average BMI’s to healthy levels, and their work has been highlighted in two governmental white papers.  Mr. Nishimura, of SOW experience, explained the benefits of allowing employees to bring their children to work with them, and provide flexible ways for women to work. Creating such an environment has clear benefits to both employers and employees, and has been successful in allowing companies to maintain their employees for the longer term.

    Ms. Aone, from Lendlease Japan, detailed the flexible working practices which have been adopted at Lendlease, and encourage a workplace that meet’s all stakeholder’s expectations, and is a good environment to work in.   Their working hour policy is from 7am to 10pm, as opposed to the regular working day hours of 9am to 5.30pm, as well as no work on weekends. Whilst this may resemble only a slight change, it is clear that in Japan, working hours have significant impact. This policy by Lendlease encourages diversity, inclusion and ensures that employees are mindful of work life balance. Lastly, Mr Gachet, of Edenred Japan explained the benefits for corporations, both large and small-medium enterprises, of giving employees real purchasing power through their meal card allowance system. For many employees, the money allocated to them normally is not enough to pay for sufficient meals. As such, Edenred’s system demonstrates that over 99% of card funds are utilised at the cooperating restaurant and convenience stores, and in Japan, providing meals can prove to be a valuable workplace strategy in terms of supporting the employees.

    As always, the Panel was concluded with a lively Q&A session, featuring questions to Minister Hashimoto and the other speakers. In conclusion, ANZCCJ would like to acknowledge and thank Mr Jakob Edberg, President and CEO, GR Japan for his moderating of this event and Tanita Corporation for their kind gifts to all of our guests. 




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