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Japan: Lower House Elections

Japan: Lower House Elections

Australia congratulates Prime Minister Koizumi and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) coalition on their re-election to Government in Sunday's Japanese Lower House election.

The LDP has received an unprecedented number of seats and, with coalition partner New Komeito, has achieved a two thirds majority in the Lower House allowing the passage of any Bills that get blocked in the Upper House. This result represents an unambiguous mandate for Mr Koizumi's program of economic reform.

We welcome the positive implications for the Japanese economy as a result of Prime Minister Koizumi's reform mandate. Japan has been our largest export market for over forty years. The two way trade between Australia and Japan is valued at over $42 billion. Japan is also the third largest foreign investor in Australia.

Australia also welcomes the ongoing commitment of the Koizumi Government to fighting global terrorism and contributing to the reconstruction of Iraq. With Prime Minister Koizumi's re-election, Japan will continue its humanitarian and reconstruction tasks in Iraq's Al Muthanna province, with the Australian Defence Force personel providing a secure environment.

The Australian Government will continue to work with Mr Koizumi and his government to enhance the Australia-Japanese relationship, including through existing and regional architecture such as APEC and the East Asia Summit and though our close co-operation on issues such as global security, regional disasters such as the tsunami, and addressing climate change. We will also continue to pursue opportunities to deepen and broaden our economic linkages, noting especially both countries' commitment to undertaking a study into the feasibility of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement.

Australia has no greater friend in Asia than Japan. The re-election of the Koizumi Government will allow our friendship to continue and strengthen.

© Scoop Media

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