Professor Takatoshi Ito to deliver Australia-Japan Foundation Annual Address

Media release

5 February 2014

One of Japan's most prominent economic commentators, Professor Takatoshi Ito, will provide his unique insights on the Abe Government's ambitious economic revitalisation program at the Australia-Japan Foundation's Annual Address in Melbourne on 20 February 2014.

Mr Murray McLean AO, Chairman of the Australia-Japan Foundation, said: "Japan's economy holds immense significance for Australia. The domestic economic policy settings of the Japanese government will have major implications for Australia's growth and prosperity."

The address, Abenomics: Domestic Reform and the Revitalisation of Japan, will be part of the 2014 Asialink Chairman's Welcome this month at the Hyatt Park Hotel in Melbourne..

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's audacious reform agenda, known as Abenomics in the Japanese and international media, is aimed at kickstarting the world's third largest economy and regaining its status as an engine of global growth.

"Australia's economic partnership with Japan is our most far-reaching and mature in the Asian region, and serves as a model for Australia's wider engagement with Asia. So it is extremely important that we take close interest in shifts and developments of the Abe Government and consider what they may mean to Australia," Mr McLean said.

Professor Ito has been a strong proponent of economic reforms in Japan. He has extensive experience both as an academic economist – he is currently Professor at the Graduate School of Economics and Dean of the Graduate School of Public Policy at Tokyo University – and as an influential adviser to the Government of Japan.

Professor Ito has also held senior positions at the Japanese Ministry of Finance, the International Monetary Fund, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Japan Centre for Economic Research. He was awarded the Emperor's Medal in 2011 for his exceptional academic achievement.

He is the author of several books on finance and economics including The Japanese Economy, The Political Economy of the Japanese Monetary Policy, and Financial Policy and Central Banking in Japan, and has written over 50 pieces in academic journals around the world on international finance and the Japanese economy.

"Few economists in Japan are better placed than Professor Ito to speak about Abenomics, and the potential revitalisation of the world's third-largest economy – one that remains critically important to Australia's future," Mr McLean said.

The AJF Address will be held the Park Hyatt Hotel, 1 Parliament Square (off Parliament Place), Melbourne, on Thursday 20 February from 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm. For more details please see – http://asialink.unimelb.edu.au/calendar/events/featured/abenomics_domestic_reform_and_the_revitalisation_of_japan