MINISTER KISHIDA It is wonderful and delightful to be able to welcomeMinister Julie Bishopto Japan as alwaysand as we just had a conversation that this is your fifth time to visit Japan and of course even last year alone the two of us have had Foreign Ministers visits three times and I had a very wonderful time and fruitful meeting last time when we had the 2+2 meeting between our two countries and it’s always delighted to have you back here in Japan so thank you so much.

And I hope that during this year of course as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our 1976 Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia, Julie, and I hope that we’ll be able to work together and follow-up on the success of Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Japan back in December, and also further enhance our bilateral relationship between Japan and Australia.

And we’ll just touch upon North Korea following North Korea’s nuclear test early in January as well, and the fact that the launching of this ballistic missile went ahead means to is a direct and grave threat towards Japans security, and of course undermines the peace and security of this North-East Asian region as well. I do believe the importance of sending out a strong message as well against these provocations, and I hope that Japan and Australia will be able to work together towards being able to adopt these UN Security Council resolution.

JULIE BISHOP Foreign Minister Kishida, thank you very much for welcoming me back to Tokyo. I think this is our eleventh formal meeting since I became Foreign Minister in September 2013 and that certainly underscores the importance that we place on this most special of relationships. I am pleased that following the 2+2 meeting in Sydney in November that Prime Minister Turnbull was able to meet Prime Minister Abe here in Tokyo last December.

This is the 40th anniversary of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and over the past forty years, our relationship has grown from strength to strength not only in the economic trade and investment field but across a broad range of areas and we are the firmest of friends and partners in a range of areas of concern and interest.

Indeed, we meet at a time where our common commitment to shared values, freedoms and democratic institutions is as important as it has ever been, given regional and global challenges that we face.

Together with ten other countries we have successfully negotiated a Trans-Pacific Partnership which I believe will set a standard for trade negotiations and trade agreements in our region and beyond.

And I believe the steps that Australia and Japan took in successfully negotiating our Economic Partnership Agreement was a precursor to the successful conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which will lead to economic growth and greater opportunities for the nations who are members of the TPP.

As you mentioned we share a common outlook when it comes to some of the challenges in our region and we stand with Japan and other members of the international community in condemning the North Korean regime for its provocative destabilising and dangerous behaviour in launching a ballistic missile test, coming shortly after a nuclear test and we will continue to work with Japan and other members of the Security Council to ensure that North Korea is under no illusion as to the unacceptability of its provocative behaviour.

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