Friendship and co-operation: the 1976 Basic Treaty between Australia and Japan is a 2006 Year of Exchange initiative to mark the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the treaty in Tokyo on 16 June 1976. The treaty arose out of a desire to broaden Australia--Japan relations beyond a natural economic partnership. This paper traces the long and sometimes difficult negotiation process to produce this all embracing treaty, from the initial agreement to proceed in October 1973 to the signing in June 1976. The Basic Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation between Australia and Japan was the first of its kind that Australia had concluded with any country. For Japan also, the treaty had unique aspects in that its scope and purpose were more comprehensive that those of Japan's treaties of commerce and navigation with more than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.
The publication is the third in the series of short historical narratives entitled Australia in the World: the foreign affairs and trade files, which aims to provide readable and well-researched stories from Australia's foreign and trade history.