Greeting from the Consul-General


Greeting from the Consul-General

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Happy New Year.

The fourth year of living with the pandemic has begun. The prolonged pandemic and the Russian military invasion to Ukraine have made a significant impact on the world. Despite the ongoing turmoil in world affairs, the Australia-Japan relationship continues to be robust and positive. In February last year, the Japan-Australia-India-US (QUAD) Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Melbourne. Then in October, Prime Minister Kishida visited Australia and met Prime Minister Albanese, confirming cooperation in areas such as security and defence, resources and energy. It is very significant that both countries have expanded cooperation and further strengthened their relationship in the rapidly changing international community. This year, with the QUAD leaders’ meeting being held in Australia, it is expected we will see further breakthroughs in bilateral relations.

In terms of business relations between Japan and the three Australian states under the responsibilities of our office, liquefied hydrogen produced from brown coal as part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Pilot Project between Australia and Japan was transported from Victoria to Japan last year by the liquefied hydrogen carrier ship, the ‘Suiso Frontier’, and arrived safely at the Port of Kobe. This was a world first. South Australia and Tasmania have also been actively engaged in research and cooperation with Japanese companies on hydrogen-related projects for a decarbonised society in recent years. Cooperation in the hydrogen sector was also addressed at the annual Japan-Australia Joint Business Conference held in Tokyo last October, which was the first face-to-face conference in the last three years. This year marks the 60th conference and it is to be held in Melbourne in October. With the recent expansion of Japanese companies in Australia, the Adelaide Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in May last year, the sixth of its kind in Australia. The Tasmanian Government is also committed to expanding trade with Japan, with a recently appointed trade representative in Tokyo.

In terms of the sister city relations, Osaka City and the City of Melbourne will be celebrating their 45th anniversary this year. Many other sister cities in Victoria and South Australia will also be celebrating significant milestones. In Victoria, Hobsons Bay and Ballarat will both celebrate their 35th anniversaries with Anjo City in Aichi Prefecture and Inagawa Town in Hyogo Prefecture respectively. Furthermore, the State of South Australia and Marion (SA) will be celebrating their 30th anniversary with Okayama Prefecture and Kokubunji City in Tokyo respectively. 

The exchange of people between Japan and Australia finally resumed last year, and we strongly hope that people-to-people exchanges between sister cities will also become more active in the future. We will continue to work with all those involved in Australia-Japan relations including Australian federal and state government officials and Japanese living in Australia to further strengthen our relationship. We look forward to your cooperation and support in the coming year.

Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne
January 2023