138 Note From Department Of External Affairs To Japanese Embassy

25th May, 1956

CANBERRA

The Department of External Affairs presents its compliments to the Embassy of Japan and has the honour to state that the Australian Government is willing to enter into negotiations with the Government of Japan looking towards a trade agreement between Japan and Australia.

For its part the Australian Government expects to be in a position within a few weeks to supply written requests regarding those matters which it desires to include in the agreement in respect of Australian exports to Japan and would be pleased to receive the requests of the Japanese Government.

However, because of the pending absence abroad of the Minister for Trade, it is expected that it will be some time before the Australian Government will be able to carry the negotiations to a point of decision. It is proposed under these circumstances that the substantive negotiations might open in Canberra not later than 31st August next.

The Department would appreciate advice whether the Japanese Government concurs in these proposals.

The Australian Government contemplates making a brief public announcement on Monday 28th May regarding these trade negotiations. The text of the announcement is attached, since the Japanese Government may wish itself to make an announcement in Tokyo at the same time.

[AA : A1838/283, 759/1/7, iv]