How significant is Perth / Western Australia when it comes to relations between Australia and Japan?
Resource rich Western Australia has enjoyed mutually beneficial relations with Japan since the 1960s, beginning with iron ore exports to Japan that became the foundations for our strong trade relations. Since the 1980s LNG exports have grown and added to this relationship. Likewise, wheat for udon noodles has become a vital import for Japan, providing the majority of Japan’s wheat requirements for udon noodles. But it is the resource trade with Western Australia that has perhaps made most of Japan’s post-war economic growth possible and could be considered the foundation of current Japanese and Western Australian prosperity. Indeed, in a nutshell, resource rich Western Australia is indispensable for Japan’s energy and food security while Japan provides Western Australia and Australia with a reliable trade and investment partner.
What are the growing areas of economic cooperation and interest in Perth / Western Australia for Japanese companies?
There is clear potential for cooperation on a range of projects related to hydrogen and ammonia taking into consideration the vast areas in Western Australia with plentiful sun and wind that are also in relative close proximity to Asian markets. Based on our complementary trade relations in other resource sectors, there is much expected in this sector.
Are there any events or initiatives are you looking forward to for the Consulate next year?
The first thing I should say is that we look forward to the reopening of Western Australia’s border and to the resumption of direct ANA flights to Tokyo, promoting two way tourism. I also look forward to the annual events celebrating Japanese cultural ties and heritage including the Perth Japan Festival in March and the Shinju Matsuri held in Broome later in the year. In 2022 there will also be various celebrations marking milestones for several sister city relationships, including the 25th anniversary of the Busselton-Sugito sister city relationship, the 30th anniversary of the Bunbury-Setagaya sister city relationship, and the 25th anniversary of the Rockingham-Ako sister city relationship. Western Australia has 10 such sister city relationships that are strong and enduring which I am proud to support.
What message do you have for our readers from the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth / Western Australia?
I am certain the future of our trade relations and investment will grow on our established strong cooperation in Western Australia. There is much interest in developing new energy sources and working together to realize the decarbonisation of our societies. And naturally, our long standing ties in both personal and cultural exchange will further deepen as other areas of bilateral cooperation continue to flourish.