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Australian PM pledges support for Japan's recovery

 Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard smiles while talking with a Japanese participant during a luncheon hosted by the Japan-Australia Business Co-...
 Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, smiles with Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan-Australia Business Co-operation Committee, at a luncheo...
 Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard gives a speech at a luncheon hosted by the Japan-Australia Business Co-operation Committee in Tokyo Thursday,...
 In this photo release by the Imperial Household Agency, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, right, and her partner Tim Mathieson, second from r...
 In this photo released by Imperial Household Agency, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, speaks to Japan's Emperor Akihito, third from le...

Japan Australia

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard smiles while talking with a Japanese participant during a luncheon hosted by the Japan-Australia Business Co-...

Japan Australia

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, smiles with Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan-Australia Business Co-operation Committee, at a luncheo...

Japan Australia

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard gives a speech at a luncheon hosted by the Japan-Australia Business Co-operation Committee in Tokyo Thursday,...

Japan Australia

In this photo release by the Imperial Household Agency, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, right, and her partner Tim Mathieson, second from r...

Japan Australia

In this photo released by Imperial Household Agency, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, speaks to Japan's Emperor Akihito, third from le...

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Thursday her country will keep energy and other vital resources flowing to support Japan's recovery from its disasters, while she urged more investment in Australia's liquefied natural gas development.
Japan is the world's biggest importer of LNG and demand is expected to surge after last month's earthquake and tsunami forced shutdowns at many of the country's power plants and triggered the country's worst ever nuclear power disaster.
"We will continue to be a reliable supplier of the energy into the future, particularly as Japan needs new energy sources because of the nuclear emergency," Gillard said after meeting her Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan.
Gillard and Kan said they agreed the two countries will continue work on a free trade agreement, but after Tokyo is less encumbered with managing its disasters.
Trade and investment liberalization is "vital to the continuing health of the global and regional economy and to economic growth in the two countries," they said in a statement.
Gillard and Kan also agreed on the need to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in strengthening nuclear energy safety standards following the accident at Japan's tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, whose radiation leaks have forced the evacuation of nearly 80,000 people.
Gillard reiterated Australia's readiness to support Japan's efforts in resolving the crisis, the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
While the two countries share similar values and view on most issues, they differ sharply on the issue of whaling. Japan has persisted in continuing its tradition of whaling for what it says are "research purposes." Australia maintains the annual hunts violate Japan's international obligations and plans to bring the matter before the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
"When it comes to the whaling issue, there are differences in opinions," Kan told reporters in a joint news conference. "We have to make sure it should not be an impediment in our relationship."
Gillard also met with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Thursday. She was due to tour communities on Japan's northeast coast that were devastated by the tsunami on Saturday before traveling on to South Korea and China.


Updated : 2021-04-14 12:36 GMT+08:00