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Australia to keep Japan as its 'best friend' in Asia


Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday the new government in Canberra intends to keep Japan as its "best friend" in Asia, as it works on relations with China.

Australia's coalition government, which returned to power last month after nearly six years of Labor Party rule, will "put economic diplomacy first," Bishop told a press conference ahead of her talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

She said her government recognizes Japan and Australia "share values and strategic interests," including democratic freedoms and positions on regional and global issues.

"Having so much in common, it's not surprising that we should describe Japan as our best friend in Asia -- not only to say it, but mean it," Bishop said, according to Kyodo.

"But that's not to deny that we will continue to work on our relationship with China," she said, adding that Australia can manage its relations with both countries by "being open and frank."

Japan is Australia's second largest trading partner behind China, with A$71 billion ($67 billion) of trade between the countries in 2012, Bishop noted.

The new government, under Liberal leader Tony Abbott, will repeal regulations and certain taxes to attract foreign investment, Bishop said, noting that Japan is the largest Asian investor in the country, according to Kyodo.

© (C) 2013. AFP

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How is this news after the last article? Seems a bit repetitive, no?

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Brought to you by the smiling friendly Liberals who follow directly back to Menzies and the "White Australia Policy". What ethnicity Australians did you think they were appealing to with their 'turn back the boats' mantra?

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Best friends? yeh right...interesting thing to say when the chinese economy heading south...all best friends when something to gain

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