Australia is eager to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan as soon as possible, Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said Monday after meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence.
Robb is in Tokyo after visiting China and South Korea, kicking off new negotiations with the three most important trade partners in Asia.
The two countries, major trading partners with each other, began negotiating an FTA in April 2007 but talks were stalled in 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami disaster.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said shortly after his election in September that Australia's longstanding close partnership with Japan was underpinned by shared values and common interests, and to continued regional stability and prosperity.
Abbott has made concluding free trade deals with Japan, China and South Korea a centerpiece of his international diplomatic efforts.
Australia has several bilateral FTA agreements, including with Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
Japan is Australia's second largest trading partner behind China, with A$71 billion ($67 billion) of trade between the countries in 2012.© Japan Today/AFP