Page 4809 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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with Fujitsu in Canberra. In our city Fujitsu has over 80 cybersecurity professionals in its 750 staff, and I am pleased to advise this will likely increase when its Canberra global security operations centre opens in March of next year.

I also met with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to promote Canberra as Australia’s knowledge capital and to discuss research partnership opportunities. The ministry is currently reviewing the Japanese government’s overseas study policy and is internationalising school vocational education and training, and higher education. Through this meeting we gained insights into Japan’s changing education landscape and how the ACT’s education institutions can be part of Japan’s growing offshore study directions.

In Osaka I visited Kansai Electric Power Company—KEPCO—to talk about the ACT government’s renewable energy policies and to investigate collaboration opportunities around virtual power plants. KEPCO is Japan’s second-largest electricity utility operating in the Kansai region. In April KEPCO partnered with the Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform Power Ledger to trial peer-to-peer renewable energy trading and to support the development of virtual power plants in Japan. I am sure members are aware of a promising virtual power plant trial currently being run in Canberra by Reposit Power and Evoenergy. The ability to exchange information regarding the virtual power plant trial experiences will benefit both KEPCO and the ACT.

As light rail stage 1 nears completion the ACT government is progressing the design and business case development for stage 2. I was very pleased to meet again with the leaders of the Mitsubishi Corporation, our major delivery partner in Canberra’s light rail development. The meeting provided an update on progress for light rail stage 1 and planning for future stages of the light rail network. We explored new trade and investment opportunities for Mitsubishi Corporation in Canberra and supported the continuing relationship between Mitsubishi Corporation and the ACT.

In both Tokyo and Osaka I met with a range of hotel and property development investment companies interested in opportunities in Australia. There is no doubt that Canberra is emerging as a favourable destination for leisure travellers, all the more from the attention provided by our Lonely Planet endorsement for 2018. There is an outstanding pipeline of opportunities for expansion in the ACT hotel and accommodation market, particularly in the five-star and above category. Many of Canberra’s key hotel assets are locally owned and managed, and the meetings provided opportunities for major Japanese hotel investors to be introduced to developers and property owners in Canberra for either potential acquisition or, indeed, development partnerships.

An important part of the program was a visit to Nara to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between our two cities. The delegation attended a lunch reception held by Nara mayor Gen Nakagawa. Both parties acknowledged the achievements over the past 25 years. We continued discussions on further business, trade and cultural links, and confirmed arrangements for the mayor’s visit to Canberra that was held in October as part of the Canberra Nara Candle Festival. As members

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