17 February 1998


I have today announced the appointment of Mr Peter Grey as Australian Ambassador to Japan. He will take up duty in the second half of March. Mr Grey will replace Dr Ashton Calvert, who has been Ambassador since December 1993.
The crucial importance of Japan to Australia is clear. Japan has been our largest export market for almost three decades. Our collaborative efforts to advance our mutual interests in the bilateral, regional and multilateral contexts have, over time, developed what was primarily an economic relationship into a broad and highly successful partnership beneficial for both our countries. The cooperation between Australia and Japan in developing Asia-Pacific institutions, including APEC, bears particular testimony to the strength and importance of our links.

The continuing vitality of this key relationship has been underlined most recently by the finalisation of a Partnership Agenda at the August 1997 Australia-Japan Ministerial Committee (AJMC) meeting, and by the agreement of our two Prime Ministers to meet annually. I am confident that our partnership with Japan will continue to expand vigorously.

Since 1994, Mr Grey has been a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, having joined the then Department of Trade in 1971. He served in Washington as First Secretary (Commercial) from 1978 to 1980 and in Tokyo as Counsellor (Agriculture) from 1986 to 1989, having been Assistant Secretary in the Department of Primary Industry from 1982 to 1985. His appointments within the Department have included Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Trade Division and Chief Negotiator for Trade in Services; First Assistant Secretary, Asia Division; and First Assistant Secretary, Trade Negotiations Division. Mr Grey became Australian Ambassador for APEC in 1996, a position held concurrently with Deputy Secretary.
Mr Grey's other activities include being a member of the Advisory Board of the Melbourne Business School's Centre for the Practice of International Trade, and of the Australian APEC Study Centre.
Mr Grey is married with two children. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford.


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