22/11/2016 - 14:26

Court named ambassador to Japan

22/11/2016 - 14:26

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Former Western Australian premier Richard Court has been named Australia’s next ambassador to Japan.

Richard Court will become Australia’s ambassador to Japan early next year. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Former Western Australian premier Richard Court has been named Australia’s next ambassador to Japan. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop made the formal announcement today, with Mr Court to take over the position from outgoing ambassador, Bruce Miller, in early 2017.

Mr Court represented the electorate of Nedlands (1983-2001) and served as WA premier from 1993 to 2001.

Since leaving government, Mr Court has held several senior roles and directorships in private and public companies, including chair of RISC (Resource Investment Strategy Consultants) and Perth Diocesan Trustees, as well as non-executive chairman of Iron Ore Holdings.

He is also a current board member of the Australia-Japan Foundation, which seeks to strengthen Australian cooperation with Japan through its members’ public and private sector expertise.

In 2008, the Japanese government recognised Mr Court’s efforts to advance Australia’s relationship with Japan when it awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun (gold and silver star). 

Ms Bishop said Japan was one of Australia’s most important economic partners in Asia, with shared interests in economic and trade policies that promote regional prosperity. 

“The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement is further strengthening business ties with more than 90 per cent of eligible Australian exports to Japan benefitting from lower tariffs,” she said in today’s statement.

“In 2015, Japan was Australia’s second-largest trading partner and export market, with two-way trade of over $70 billion.

“It was also Australia’s second largest in-bound direct foreign investor.”

Ms Bishop said both countries shared education and ‘people’ links, and that Japanese was the most-studied language in Australia.

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