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Australia And Japan's Relationship Since World War Ii

1035 words - 4 pages

Since the signing of the 1951 peace treaty between Australia and Japan, the two countries have rapidly built a productive relationship. Many factors and events have contributed to the development of this partnership. The ANZUS treaty was the turning point in the Austral-Japanese relationship. It assured Australia protection against Japan and provided security in the Asia-Pacific region. Trade and cultural exchange also played a significant role in shaping Australia’s relationship with Japan. Growth of trade was a contributor to the sense of a mutual interest between the two countries. The cultural exchange often helped to recognise and accept the differences between Australia and Japan.

The partnership between Australia and Japan instigated with the signing of ANZUS treaty in 1951. ANZUS joined the nations of Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America in a defence security pact for the Pacific region. It chiefly resulted from the fear of communism by Western nations. However, from Australia’s point of view at the time, ANZUS also offered protection against a potential threat from Japan. Australia was concerned that Japan would try to conquer the Pacific region again after suffering defeat in the Second World War. Hanson.M (2001:28) sates that shortly after the end of World War Two, Australia wanted the Japanese government turned into a democracy. She even wanted a peace treaty that punished those leaders responsible for Japan’s aggression, broke the great industrious complexes of Japan’s economy, and left Japan disarmed. The ANZUS treaty however, created a connection between Australia and Japan on easier terms. With United States backing Australia, it was now safe to interact with Japan. Although ANZUS did not guarantee direct military support from United States, it still provided consultation in an event of attack on any of the three countries. Wolferen.K (1989:54) notes that security co-operation has been growing between Australia and Japan throughout the 1990’s. Communist China was the major concern for the two nations. Japan and Australia had the same negative views about communism, which led to them sharing a common purpose in countering the communists within that region.

After Sir John McEwen, the former Minister for Trade, signed the Australia-Japan Commerce Agreement in 1957, the trading aspect between the two nations has developed to a great extent. Japan lacked domestic resources due to the fact that only one-fifth of her land could be cultivated. She desperately needed a permanent, reliable trading partner. Australia’s economy also heavily depended on trade with her neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region because she was so isolated from the Western World. As a result, Japan promised to admit Australian wool and cotton at favourable rates. Andrews.E (1979:78) states that by 1958 Japan was taking seventeen percent of Australian exports and would shortly overtake Britain as Australia’s best customer. Australia and Japan...

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