How significant is Queensland and Japan when it comes to relations between Australia and Japan?
Japan has a long-standing relationship with Queensland. Japanese people migrated to the northern part of Queensland for pearl shell diving and sugar cane planting in the late 19th century. Japan has been a consistent and strong investor in Queensland’s resources industry and agriculture sector over many decades. Our close ties in the resources sector continue to grow even stronger, particularly with hydrogen coming to the forefront of the Japan-Queensland economic relationship.
How do you see economic cooperation between Queensland and Japan?
Our relationship is diversifying and there is a great deal of potential for more research and development collaborations in Queensland. I personally think we can create a model for future energy, transportation and related infrastructure. These developments can also be promoted in other countries. Academic institutions in Queensland and Japan are also collaborating on various initiatives.
Are there any events that you are looking forward to this year?
Hopefully the COVID situation improves so restrictions can be less severe and allow us to celebrate the different annual cultural events in Queensland such as festivals. These include the Matsuri Festival Brisbane, the Japan Festival in Gold Coast, and the Japan Bon Dancing Ceremony in Cairns. These activities will come back to life and people will start to visit each other. We will also see more tourists, students and business people.
What message would you like to share with our readers?
I am excited to have this opportunity to serve Brisbane, Queensland and Australia. Japan and Queensland share a great deal of potential not just in trading and commodities but also in know-how, research and planning for future societies. We share the basic values of democracy, free-trade and a free and open Indo pacific. Our relationship is multidimensional and mutually beneficial and I believe our good relations will remain strong and contribute to peace and prosperity in the region.