Foreign Minister Bob Carr will tomorrow depart for China and Japan. This will be his first visit to North Asia as Foreign Minister.
"2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China," Senator Carr said.
"Our relationship has grown tremendously since then.
"This visit will focus on advancing our relationship, which increasingly encompasses cooperation across a broad range of shared interests."
Senator Carr will meet his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, as well as other Chinese leaders, including Vice Premier Li Keqiang, to discuss the further development of our bilateral relationship and shared interests in promoting peace and sustainable development globally and in the region.
While in Beijing, Senator Carr will also meet academics and representatives of the business community.
Senator Carr will then visit Japan from May 16 to 18.
"Japan is Australia's closest partner in Asia," Senator Carr said.
"We share substantive economic and security ties that are underpinned by deep, broad-ranging people-to-people links.
"I will be discussing ways to further strengthen this key relationship, as well as responses to shared global and regional challenges."
Senator Carr will meet his counterpart, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, as well as a number of other Japanese minsters and members of parliament. He will also give an address at the National Press Club in Tokyo.
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