Page 4808 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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There is a very close and longstanding relationship between Australia and Japan, and its importance has extensive cultural, economic and strategic dimensions. Japan is among the top five priority countries in the ACT government’s international engagement strategy, and we have cultivated and strengthened our relationship with Japan across many fronts.

During this mission I travelled to Tokyo, Osaka and Nara, meeting government officials, university researchers and business executives, exploring opportunities in research collaboration, investment in city infrastructure, and hotel and property development. I visited our close friends in our sister city Nara to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sister city agreement between our two cities.

In Tokyo I met with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which manages Japan’s national innovation strategy and the planning and implementation of their national research and development projects. We discussed Canberra’s strengths in research and development in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems and explored collaboration opportunities for Canberra universities and researchers. I advise the Assembly that the ACT government and the ministry are working to bring together the ANU’s 3A Institute and similar Canberra centres and the Artificial Intelligence Research Centre in Japan.

The space and cybersecurity industries are amongst our city’s top growth areas, and the ACT government is actively strengthening these areas in partnership with our higher education and research sector. While in Tokyo the delegation met with university and industry leaders to build stronger links between Japan and Canberra in these two areas.

As members are aware, Canberra is currently the home of the new Australian Space Agency—and so it should remain. Not only does our city have the critical mass of space-related national agencies but we also have a diverse ecosystem of large and small firms and innovative start-ups. I was pleased to meet with Professor Shinichi Nakasuka from the University of Tokyo. The professor is a central player in many of the projects at the Japanese space agency. His teams are developing a constellation of 20 small satellites for low earth orbit that Canberra-based Equatorial Launch Australia and the ANU can support. As a former ANU visiting research fellow, Professor Nakasuka understands Canberra’s strong space industry credentials and continues to promote space industry collaboration between Canberra and Tokyo.

At the University of Tokyo I also met Jenny Corbett, Emeritus Professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and the inaugural Rio Tinto fellow for the Foundation of Australia-Japan Studies. Professor Corbett is establishing a new research fund between Japan and Australia, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Rio Tinto. I am pleased to advise that there will be opportunities for Canberra universities and researchers to further our research ties with Japan in our key capability areas.

I also met with Fujitsu senior executive Junichi Saito, head of global cybersecurity business, to present Canberra’s cybersecurity strengths and to deepen our engagement

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