The City of Hiroshima will provide a symbolic and historically significant setting for the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) which I will attend on 11-12 April.

Formed by Australia and Japan to strengthen efforts under the Nuclear Non‑Proliferation Treaty, the NPDI aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. 

In Hiroshima I will participate in a town hall meeting hosted by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in his electorate. I will also visit the Cenotaph and the Peace Memorial Museum which provide a reminder of the devastation caused by nuclear war and the importance of our efforts to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

My visit follows the historic Australia-Japan free trade deal agreed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Trade Minister Andrew Robb with Japanese counterparts earlier this week.

My meeting with Minister Kishida will provide a valuable opportunity to build on this significant development in our bilateral relationship as well as to discuss regional cooperation and advancing our security and defence relationship.

We will also discuss Japan’s participation in the pilot phase of the New Colombo Plan which will see around 150 students from 10 Australian universities undertake study at a Japanese university in 2014.

The shared interest of Australia and Japan in ASEAN in the 40th year of our dialogue partnership with ASEAN will be the focus of my keynote address at the Asialink Conversations dialogue on 11 April.

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