151 Australia-Japan Trade Negotiations: Japanese Reactions To

5th October, 1956


Canberra, 5 October 1956

1. The Australian requests [1] are expressed in general terms with regard to several goods. Furthermore, the extent to which the Japanese Government is able to comply with these requests will depend in no small measure on the outcome of detailed negotiations.

The Japanese Government is not therefore yet prepared to make, at this stage, more precise statements on the matter than those mentioned below.

2. As to the third paragraph of the Australian request, it is hoped that each country will accord most-favoured-nation and non- discriminatory treatments in its territory to the goods from the other.

Many of the Australian requests such as stated in paragraph 4(i)(b) and (d), (ii) and (iii) and paragraph 5 give the impression that the Australian Government is asking for treatments better than those usually regarded as most-favoured-nation and nondiscriminatory treatments.

If the Australian side is in fact making such requests, they may be able to be considered on the basis of reciprocity after both sides have agreed to accord most-favoured-nation and non- discriminatory treatments to the goods from each other's territory.

3. As to paragraphs 4, 5 and 6, the Japanese Government wishes to hear the Australian views in further detail in the course of the forthcoming negotiations before it states its reactions fully.

One thing has to be made clear at this stage.

The Australian side requests the continuation of treatment not less favourable than that now accorded in respect of all goods imported from Australia in relation to import licensing and/or exchange control.

In view of its current position of balance of international payments, the Japanese Government has recently been relinquishing some of the measures adopted about a year ago in favour of importation from the sterling areas, as compared with imports from the other currency areas. Therefore there may arise in the near future a situation where some Australian goods will be accorded less favourable treatment than that now accorded.

On the other hand, it will be possible for the Japanese Government to continue to allow Australian goods to be imported on a non- discriminatory basis.

4. The Japanese Government is making detailed preparations for sending to Canberra its delegation which is expected to leave Tokyo within a few weeks.

1 Document 146.

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