2 December 2015
1. Greeting and Acknowledgements
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Bruce Miller and I am the Australian Ambassador to Japan.
It’s a great pleasure to be here, and I’d like to thank your university for inviting me to speak here today.
It is a great opportunity to speak to the talented and motivated students and staff at a truly distinguished university, as well as to members of your local community.
Today I have been asked to talk about how Australia and Japan can work together to innovate and ensure prosperity in our region in the future.
Universities have a vital role to play in this future, and I will talk about the opportunities that we see in education, research and innovation, building on our proud history of collaboration.
But first I will talk about the close relationship between Australia and Japan – particularly our economic and trade cooperation – and how we see this developing in the future.
We are living in a time of profound transition in the economic and strategic environment in the Asia-Pacific. This creates opportunities for us all, and I will look at how Australia and Japan can work more closely in innovative ways.
I will finish by touching on the opportunities for you as students of Nagoya University, as you head out into the world.
2. Introduction of Australia and partnership with Japan
So first, let me give you an introduction to Australia, and our partnership with Japan.
Australia has a set of beliefs and values which shape our interaction with international society.
These are the values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law and human rights – values which we share with Japan.
These underpin the policies and programs of the Australian Government.
These values help to maintain harmony in a diverse society like Australia’s.
The current population of Australia is 23.5 million, so 20% of the population of Japan. But today, Australian people have roots in 200 countries around the world.
One in four Australians was born in a country other than Australia.
Australia is proud of this diversity. We believe diversity is a strength – just like Nagoya University, there are people from different backgrounds. But because of it, we place strong value on mutual respect.
Mutual respect is even more important in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November, and the attack on the Lindt Café in Sydney earlier this year.
As the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said a week ago:
“If we want to preserve the values that underpin our open, democratic societies, we will have to work resolutely with [all freedom loving nations] to defend and protect the freedoms we hold dear”.
Our values and commitment to the rule of law, have developed and sustained our economy and the quality of life we enjoy.
This is clearly shown in the United Nations’ ‘Human Development Index’.
This is a measurement of standard of living, broadly defined, of people from around the world.
Australia currently ranks second on this index, after Norway.
Australian cities have received similar recognition.
The world-famous journal, The Economist, has ranked Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city, not once, but five years in a row.
And if we look at the top ten cities in this ranking, four of them are Australian cities: Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, and the number one city, Melbourne.
Australia’s economy is in good condition.
We have enjoyed positive economic growth for the last 24 years – which is unique among advanced economies.
30 years ago, Australia changed its trade and economic policies in a fundamental way.
Before that, we had a protectionist outlook on trade, and charged high import taxes for products arriving in Australia from other countries.
This was done to protect our own industries.
We changed direction – lowering these taxes, and promoting a more open market for imports and exports.
This change resulted in more international trade and investment. It also gave Australian businesses and employees a more global mindset for doing business.
Another major factor behind Australia’s economic successes is our relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific.
Of these, Japan has been our most long-standing.
In 1957, the Japan-Australia Commerce Treaty was signed.
For more than 40 years, Japan was Australia’s biggest export market, and remains Australia’s second-largest trading partner.
And for Japan, Australia is its third-largest import market.
Our business relationship with Japan covers almost all economic areas, including minerals, agriculture, manufacturing, and the service industry.
Our relationship with Japan is tremendously important to us.
Japan and Australia are creating a strong relationship based on our shared values and interests, as well as economic complementarity, which has made a significant contribution to the prosperity of both countries.
So when we think about new opportunities in the region, it is logical that we would seek to explore these in partnership with Japan.
Before I outline some of these new opportunities, let me give you a few real-life examples of partnerships between our two countries.
3. Economic and trade partnership
<Primary energy and minerals>
For Japan, Australia is the third-largest import market, so what kind of products does Japan import from Australia?
One major import is primary energy. That is, commodities which generate electricity like coal and natural gas.
Energy supports our lives in many ways – in our schools, homes, offices, factories, and on public transport.
Australia produces an extremely large amount of energy. And Australia is Japan’s top supplier.
Japan receives more coal and natural gas from Australia than it does from any other country.
So it is likely that the lights in this room are powered by, and have been built out of, Australian raw materials.
And the amount of gas from Australia to Japan will increase to 40 per cent of all gas imports by 2018.
Australia is also Japan’s top supplier of minerals such as iron ore.
60 per cent of all minerals used in Japan are from Australia and have been for the last 50 years.
These can be used for building houses or producing car parts, and many other applications.
Those resources have enabled Japan to become a leading exporter of industrial goods to the world, with Nagoya a leading centre of manufacturing, innovation and export.
Another important category that I want to mention is agricultural products; beef, fruit, and vegetables.
Japan imports huge quantities of agricultural products from Australia.
In particular, Australia is a top supplier of beef, barley, and dairy products such as processed cheese.
How about products exported from Japan to Australia?
Japan provides Australia with many products, particularly cars and other vehicles, and electronics.
These products support people’s life and work in Australia.
And I expect to see even more high-quality Japanese agricultural produce come to Australia as the sector becomes more competitive.
Japan’s contribution to Australia is even more significant when we look at the other aspects of our economic relationship, in addition to trade.
Let me talk a little about Japanese investment in Australia.
Many Japanese companies invest in Australia directly, for example by putting money into mining development projects in Australia, or buying Australian companies.
These investments generate profit for Japanese companies.
Japan is the third largest investor in Australia, after the US and the UK. And Japan remains Australia’s largest Asian source of capital.
What are the benefits for Australia from Japanese investment?
There are many.
For example, Japanese companies have helped to develop our energy and mineral sectors, and our export industries.
Mining requires high levels of technology and quality infrastructure.
When Japanese companies invest in Australia, they hire educated local people for their businesses. And when they buy service companies, such as insurance, they inject capital and allow this to grow.
So they create many jobs.
Overall, investment greatly contributes to the development of our economies.
Some of you may know that Japanese companies invest in countries all around the world.
Australia is the world’s twelfth-largest economy, but Australia receives the fifth-largest amount of Japan’s foreign direct investment.
So Australia is an important investment destination for Japan.
But why do Japanese companies choose Australia?
Japanese business people’s views about Australia are very positive. We are seen as having:
- Little risk, with a good legal and political system,
- Abundant natural resources,
- Well-maintained infrastructure,
- Strong population and economic growth,
- Immigration means our population is growing steadily;
- High consumer purchasing power,
- Well-educated citizens who use English, and
- Close proximity to Asia.
To further strengthen our economic relationship and create more ‘future opportunities’, together Australia and Japan promote economic liberalisation.
I will come to the TPP in a moment, but before that I want to talk about a step we took before that.
Last year, Australia and Japan concluded a historic agreement, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, or JAEPA.
When Prime Minister Abe visited Australia in July last year, he and the Australian Prime Minister signed a trade agreement.
This treaty was JAEPA – an agreement which will elevate our good economic relationship to an even higher level by promoting business between Australia and Japan, by reducing tariffs, and creating a better environment for direct investment.
It also has strategic significance in that it showed the world two advanced countries could do a deal like this: Japan and Australia compromise a deal which will increase economic integration, and mutual prosperity.
Let me outline some of the benefits of JAEPA.
JAEPA lowers tariffs.
Companies can import products at cheaper prices, and can sell the products more cheaply to Japanese consumers.
JAEPA benefits farmers and food producers as well.
JAEPA lowers the cost of the raw ingredients used by Japan’s dairy and sugar industries.
JAEPA also lowers the cost of key items used in Japanese agriculture, such as food for animals.
JAEPA benefits Japanese manufacturers, exporters and investors too.
Under JAEPA, all Japanese automobiles and parts, as well as electronic goods, enter Australia tariff free.
This means that Japanese companies can be more competitive than other companies who sell their products in Australia.
As regards investment, JAEPA creates a better environment for Japanese companies.
Japanese investors, like other countries, often have to go through a screening process.
But with JAEPA, Japanese investors can skip this if their investment is worth less than $1 billion.
So it really is a platform for greater economic exchange between our two countries.
It shows the world that two countries can work together to reach a high-quality agreement.
The other big news on the trade front is of course the Trans-Pacific Partnership, known as the TPP.
The TPP is a regional free trade agreement of unprecedented scope and ambition, with great potential to drive job-creating growth across the Australian and Japanese economies.
Australia and Japan share the belief that there will be great benefits if the world’s major economies liberalise their trade and investment.
The TPP’s rules to protect and promote foreign investment are contemporary and robust.
The TPP will help to make the economic relationships in the region, including Australia and Japan, even stronger.
The TPP also has the potential to be a model for rule creation in the global community.
The TPP stands to be a vital building block in establishing and confirming the rules-based regional and international trade order.
For example, the TPP establishes a common set of rules on intellectual property protection and enforcement.
Knowing that IP rights can be protected and enforced provides an important incentive for Australian and Japanese businesses, investors and innovators to expand their activities in the region.
This is part of a broader commitment Japan and Australia share to rules-based solutions to international issues – not force, not coercion, not unilateral but together.
So, economic liberalisation, through agreements like JAEPA and the TPP, contributes greatly to the economic development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and to stability.
4. Education and research cooperation
In addition to these strong economic, trade and business links between our two countries, cooperation in education and research has strengthened the relationship over many decades, and contributed to prosperity.
I see great opportunity to build on this cooperation and set a new agenda for education, research and innovation collaboration between Australia and Japan.
As it is these areas that will increasingly define the 21st century partnership between our countries.
Indeed, just yesterday I had the pleasure of taking part in the 2015 World Engineering Convention in Kyoto, where engineers from Japan and Australia and all over the world were discussing how they could contribute to the big issues of the future.
In 2019, the next World Engineering Convention will be held in Melbourne in Australia, and I hope that we might see some of you there.
<Australia-Japan cooperation in education and research>
I now want to talk for a few minutes about our existing education and research links as well as some ideas for closer future cooperation.
Australia recognises Japan as a world-leading country in the quality of its education system.
Japan has long been a popular destination for students studying abroad and for researchers seeking the best collaborators in their field.
Japanese is the most popular foreign language among Australian school and university students.
Around 360,000 students each year are studying Japanese, which ranks Australia fourth in the world in terms of the number of Japanese learners.
Australia is the most popular country for sister-school partnerships for Japanese schools, with over 650 agreements in place.
It is also the most popular destination for Japanese school study tours, with tens of thousands of students heading to Australia each year.
All of this is supported by over 100 sister-city relationships between Australia and Japan, and six state-prefecture partnerships.
We have had a formal treaty for science cooperation since 1980.
Between our universities, there are more than 480 partnership agreements, and this number is growing.
We see this growth in research as well, where the number of collaborative publications by Australian and Japanese researchers has more than doubled over the last decade.
The quality of this joint research is very high by international standards.
We have analysed the citations of these joint publications and found that they are significantly higher than the Australian and Japanese averages in all fields – this is across sciences and the humanities particularly physics and medicine.
So both countries are receiving a quality boost from our collaboration, which makes us both more competitive in international rankings.
As education and research become more and more globalised, the benefits that we derive from working together will become increasingly important.
<Nagoya University and Australian universities>
We also recognise Nagoya University as a leading institution in Japan and a world-class university.
Japan has a truly impressive record of Nobel Prizes since the turn of the century, but it is perhaps Nagoya University that stands out most clearly, with six of those Nobel Laureates being faculty here.
In terms of research collaboration with Australia, Nagoya University is also prominent.
With more than 1,000 publications with Australian researchers over the last decade, Nagoya University is our second most frequent Japanese partner.
In areas such as space science, geosciences, physics and agricultural science, Nagoya University plays a leading role in our international collaboration.
I hear from universities in Australia great interest in closer collaboration with Nagoya, and of your success in trialling new approaches to study abroad and degree programs, such as the Professional PhD program that many of you are part of.
In fact, the very first joint degree program between a Japanese university and an international partner under the new regulations set by MEXT is a joint PhD between Nagoya University and the University of Adelaide, in the field of medical science.
We congratulate both universities for your leadership, and showing that, despite administrative complications, these new kinds of international programs can be implemented, with great benefits for students in both countries.
We want to see more of these kinds of programs, building on our history of high-quality collaboration and creating more structured and strategic partnerships for the future.
By working together, we can take advantage of the next phase of internationalisation in education and research.
<International education in Australia>
Australian universities are already high quality and very international.
Indeed, in the latest university ranking list by Times Higher Education, six of Australia’s oldest universities have again made it into the top 100 universities.
But, just as importantly, sixteen (16) Australian institutions were ranked in the world's top 100 young universities – those younger than 50 years old.
Editor Phil Baty went as far as calling Australia the “the world's No. 1 nation when it comes to the new generation of world-class universities."
The data clearly shows that Australia does not just have a few world-class universities, but rather a world-class system.
And a crucial part of that system is our international students.
We have around 265,000 international university students in Australia each year.
In many universities, 25 per cent of students have come from another country to study in Australia, including Japanese students.
They see Australia as a destination of course for learning English, but more importantly for a good training ground for doing business elsewhere.
As I stated before, we are an established market, have well developed institutions, sound economic management and an open and outward-oriented outlook on our region.
This confluence of factors has led to international education being Australia’s fourth largest export, after iron ore, coal and natural gas.
International education contributed over $17 billion to the Australian economy in 2014 and supported over 130,000 jobs in Australia.
In light of its significance to our prosperity, the Australian Government has taken a number of steps to support the sustainable growth of international education and the quality of our system.
Work is now being finalised on our first ever National Strategy for International Education, which brings together governments, education institutions and industry bodies to set a shared agenda for the future.
The Strategy aims to position Australia to take advantage of new developments in internationalisation, while also highlighting the social and cultural – as well as economic – benefits that come from international education.
<New Colombo Plan>
The Australian Government recognises that international education must also be a two-way partnership if it is to be high quality and sustainable.
While we welcome many international students to Australia each year, our own students have not always been as enthusiastic about studying abroad.
To address this, the Australian Government recently launched the New Colombo Plan – a major new initiative to boost study overseas and further enhance our relationships with the countries in our region.
The original Colombo Plan brought tens of thousands of the best and brightest young people in the Asia-Pacific to Australia between the 1950s and the 1980s.
They studied in Australia and learned about our nation, and returned to their home countries with knowledge, skills and friends from all over the region, including Australia.
Those people are now working in a great variety of fields. Some of them work for the government, some are company executives, and others are professors at universities.
They are using the skills and knowledge they gained to make great contributions to economic development as well as culture and society more broadly.
The New Colombo Plan works in the opposite direction and sends Australia’s best and brightest university students to nations in the Asia-Pacific region to live, study and work.
It immerses them in rich and vibrant cultures, communities and languages.
The New Colombo Plan was launched in Japan by the Australian Prime Minister in April last year, and since then has supported over 1,000 Australian university students to come to Japan.
Since 2007, another 1600 Australian students have come to Japan on other Australian Government scholarships, such as the Endeavour program.
I sincerely thank Nagoya University for hosting New Colombo Plan students.
We hope that this program will support stronger university partnerships and increased two-way student mobility between Australia and Japan.
It is well aligned with the Japanese Government’s own scholarships and programs, including the new Tobitate scheme.
In addition to studying, learning the language and making new friends, a major focus of the program is the opportunity for students to undertake an internship and work as part of their study abroad.
I sincerely thank those companies and other organisations that have already hosted Australian students as interns.
Those companies and organisations have provided students with useful skills for their future careers.
And I must say, we are always looking for more organisations, in a variety of fields, willing to host Australian interns, to help them gain real-world experience.
With the strong relationship our countries share, and the entry into force of agreements such as JAEPA, there are now so many fields in which our students can be active.
More than ever before, we will need young people with the skills, understanding and networks to take advantage of the opportunities in our region and globally.
These links will enable them to collaborate and innovate, and become the professors, policy-makers and business leaders of the future.
5. Innovation cooperation
When I was asked to come to Nagoya University, I knew that I wanted to speak about a topic that is as important for us in Australia as it is for you here, and that is innovation.
As I said before, I believe innovation should be a stronger part of our relationship in the future.
We are all facing the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. That is why Prime Minister Turnbull, has moved innovation to the centre of public debate.
Recently he put a challenge to Australians in this way:
“…we have to be more innovative, more technologically advanced, more enterprising, more competitive, and more productive, that much is absolutely clear. There is no room for complacency.”
Prime Minister Turnbull was pointing to a need to keep up with the relentless pace of change. He went on to say that
“We need to be prepared at every stage to say the way we did things yesterday, or last week, is not the way we will do them in the future.”
In Australia, our economy is in transition.
We are moving from a resources investment boom – with the strong connections to Japan I have already mentioned – into a resources production boom.
This will see natural gas exports to Japan double, but also lead to broader changes in the structure of our economy.
The Australian Government is focused on supporting new sources of jobs and prosperity, and innovation must play a central role in this.
<Australian science and innovation>
Lately, the World Economic Forum reported that Australia was ranked as “the most creative economic performer” in the world on ‘the Global Creativity Index 2015.’
Our aim is to build a country with growing entrepreneurial spirit, a citizenry who are prepared to pursue their ideas, prepared to take a risk, and prepared to try again if they fail.
The future of our economy and maintaining our standard of living as a first world country depends on it.
To this end, our government invests almost $10 billion each year in science, research and innovation – above the OECD average.
This has led to strong performance in science – Australia’s research output ranks in the top eight in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 competitiveness report.
We have won 15 Nobel Prizes in the last century – not as many as Japan of course, but on a per capita basis, the largest number for any country.
Our rates of international collaboration and frequently cited papers are high.
And Australian researchers have discovered new ideas and technologies that have had a huge impact on the economy and society around the world.
For a country with such a small population, inventions and ideas from Australia exert a disproportionately high influence.
For example, did you know that high-speed Wi-Fi, the ultrasound, cancer vaccine, the blackbox flight recorder and Google Maps are all Australian innovations?
I know that Nagoya University boasts a world class medical faculty. So I am glad to say that many of Australia’s greatest successes have come in the field of medicine.
This is also the single largest field of Australian-Japanese research collaboration.
Of course an Australian, Howard Florey, shared the Nobel Prize for medicine for the development of the first penicillin-based antibiotic medicine.
Another Australian invention is the cochlear implant or bionic ear to help the deaf hear.
Becoming more well-known is Australia’s development of the world’s first cancer vaccine.
And recently, I was excited to hear about the invention at the Queensland University of Technology’s Medical Engineering Research Facility of the BiVACOR – the world’s first long-term total replacement for a failing human heart.
This is a machine that could give the 17 million people each year who die from heart disease another 10 or so more years of quality life.
I am pleased to say that this Australian invention was created with the help of Japanese scientists.
Innovations like these require significant funding; a commitment that deserves a return.
That is why we believe we must do more to support the creation of economic and social value from our significant public investments in universities and science.
Our government has announced five new Industry Growth Centres, to boost our competitiveness in key areas for Australia.
- Advanced manufacturing;
- Food and agribusiness;
- Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals;
- Mining equipment, technology and services; and
- Oil, gas and energy resources.
The Industry Growth Centres will help to connect researchers with business, encourage commercialisation and support international collaboration.
The Australian Government will also soon launch a new Innovation Policy Statement.
It will bring together a truly whole-of-government focus on ways to stimulate innovation and university-industry collaboration, including through international links.
This Statement is a plan to unlock the growth potential of innovation, boosting our economy and creating jobs.
We know that innovative businesses are twice as likely to report productivity increases than businesses that do not innovate.
<Australia-Japan innovation cooperation>
In the areas I have already mentioned, as well as many others, we would like to see closer cooperation with Japan, with innovation a stronger focus in the future of our bilateral relationship.
I am pleased to say that we are already seeing evidence of this happening.
For example, in the cutting-edge world of regenerative medicine, Australian innovators are already working closely with Japanese researchers and companies.
That includes here in Nagoya where an Australian stem cell company, Cell Therapies, has formed an alliance with Nagoya-based PharmaBio Ltd to provide their customers with a complete cell processing and delivery solution.
I was very interested to visit your new National Innovation Complex here today, and to see how Nagoya University collaborates with leading companies.
As President Matsuo has said, internationalisation and collaboration with local industry need not be mutually exclusive; indeed, there is great potential for them to be more linked in the future.
Universities play a central role in creating prosperity for their local communities as well as more broadly in the region and around the world.
We have hosted a number of university workshops at the Australian Embassy in the last two years, to support the growing interest between Australian and Japanese universities in closer collaboration.
We have invited industry representatives to be involved in discussions about student mobility and internships, but also about more strategic research partnerships.
More broadly, the Australian Government has also taken the decision to open up its science and innovation funding programs to international participation.
This leads to higher quality research and also strengthened links with industry.
For example, 10 out of the 25 National Centres of Excellence funded by the Australian Research Council include Japanese corporate participation, with total funding of over $30 million.
We have enjoyed long-standing researcher exchange with Japan, with two-way programs supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Australian Government since 1977.
We are now trying to build on the success of these programs to create new opportunities for young researchers in both countries to form links with industry.
One such program is our Emerging Research Leaders Exchange Program (“ERLEP”), where we invite young researchers from Japanese companies to take part.
The Australian Government also supports the Cooperative Research Centres program (or “CRC” program) which brings together consortia of researchers and industry in areas of national priority.
The CRCs produce cutting-edge research of relevance to industry, as well as PhD graduates who have already experienced working in a collaborative environment.
Of the 33 CRCs currently active, 10 include Japanese participation – both universities and companies.
This has led to exciting innovation in areas where both countries can benefit – for example Toyota, headquartered here in Nagoya, is a partner in the Automotive CRC’s work on designing new vehicle protection systems for pedestrian safety.
And perhaps you have heard of Recaldent chewing gum and tooth mousse?
Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia isolated the relevant proteins and developed a method of delivering it into the tooth – this is Recaldent, and it prevents tooth decay.
Through the Oral Health CRC, and in partnership with Japan’s GC Corporation, Recaldent was commercialised and is now widely available in many forms.
In this way, by strengthening university-industry links, we can deliver benefits for both countries.
And these ‘win-win’ solutions also happen between businesses.
I explained before how Japanese investment had been central to the development of many of our export industries, including resources such as iron ore and coal.
The growth of these industries has powered Australian prosperity, as well as meeting Japan’s demand for resources and energy.
The partnership between Australian company Rio Tinto and Japan started over 50 years ago. Rio Tinto worked with Japanese steel mills and companies such as Toyota, to develop this sector of Australia.
Today Rio Tinto is also working with companies such as Komatsu and Hitachi to develop new technologies and industries.
As an example, the autonomous mine vehicles that are being pioneered in Australia, using new IT technologies, are creating more efficient and productive operations.
This is the way of the future and clearly demonstrates the potential for stronger mutually beneficial Australia-Japan cooperation in R&D and industry innovation.
We hear a lot about “innovation” these days and even the prospect of the fourth industrial revolution, or “Industry 4.0”.
This, of course, refers to the widespread application of ICT, big data and automation to transform manufacturing and industry generally.
We can be sure that new technologies including big data and the “internet of things” will have profound impacts on education, industry and our economies and societies in the future.
But we must be careful that innovation is not just another buzzword, or another slogan.
We must look for concrete ways to work together that create prosperity and make sense in our two nations.
The good news is that we have much to build upon, with strong education, research, economic and trade links between Australia and Japan.
By opening up our programs to each other, and supporting these university and industry relationships, we can ensure that collaboration between Australia and Japan benefits both countries, and the region.
We have distinct strengths and capabilities to bring to bear on the opportunities of the 21st century.
And we can innovate even in the ways in which our universities and businesses collaborate, taking advantage of our unique time zone advantage.
This could be through linking schools and universities with new technologies, further boosting two-way student mobility.
It could be through staff exchange and professional development, by sharing experience of internationalisation, and by trialling new joint programs.
It could be through cooperating to create new opportunities for women and girls in science, maths and engineering.
And it could be working together to try new ways of linking research and industry, through new industry internships for our PhD students, or by connecting our existing centres of excellence.
These things would see innovation become ever more central to the future of cooperation between Australia and Japan.
6. Opportunities for Nagoya University students
I would like to conclude with some final thoughts about what this might mean for you, as students and future leaders.
I have talked about Australia and how our partnership with Japan is based on shared values and interests.
I have highlighted how this partnership has led to huge economic and trade benefits for both countries over many decades, and where we see economic and trade cooperation headed in the future.
And I have talked about the vital role of education, research and innovation in this future, to drive cooperation and prosperity for Australia and Japan, and around our region more broadly.
So what does this mean for you?
Clearly, as technological change and economic integration continues, your lives and careers will look very different to those of the past.
Whether they be in academia or in business (or indeed elsewhere), your future jobs may well find you working in another country, with a diverse range of people.
Major Japanese companies are already leveraging Australian strengths to expand their business.
For example, Japan Post, Nihon Yubin, recently acquired Toll, a major Australian logistics company with approximately 40,000 employees in more than 50 countries.
This purchase has allowed Japan Post to gain access to other countries in the Asia-Pacific.
It’s an excellent example of a strong Japanese company finding the best global talent - which in this case is Australian or has studied in Australia - to take forward its international expansion.
Australian universities offer high-quality English-language education that has been developed over many years to best suit truly diverse groups of students.
Students who spend time in Australia meet peers from all over the world, and develop skills and networks that will last them a lifetime.
And 90 per cent of all foreign students in Australia say that they are happy with the Australian education system.
Studies have produced the same results for the last five years.
So allow me an advertisement, if you are thinking about studying or undertaking an internship overseas, I encourage you to consider Australia.
At the same time, we will be sending more of our students and young researchers to spend time in Japan.
Through closer collaboration between our two countries, we will be able to produce more and more graduates with language skills, global leadership skills, understanding of cultural diversity, and sophisticated knowledge in various fields.
It is these people – you – who will drive the education, research, business and trade partnerships of the future.
We know that partnerships like these lead to higher quality education and research, and often spark innovation.
And it is through innovation, that we will achieve greater prosperity for Australia and Japan. Together our two countries can, and should, lead the development of our region.
I wish you the best of luck and encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities in front of you.