Asia Institute Tasmania

Public Lecture | Australia : Japan - The Road Ahead


Mr Sumio Kusaka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Australia

Start Date

28th Sep 2016 5:00pm


Law Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, Grosvenor Street

Japan is Australia's second largest trading partner and regarded as its closest ally in Asia.

There are significant challenges to both nations posed by the global economy, the need to realise agreements that will maintain international trade and growth, ensuring effective international institutional arrangements and by a range of regional trade and security issues, including nuclear tests by North Korea and the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

How is the Japan : Australia relationship currently perceived by Japan, in both an international and regional context, and also in the wake of the Australian Government's decision on the purchase of submarines?

Before arriving in Australia earlier this year, Mr Sumio Kusaka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Australia, had already completed 37 years of distinguished service as a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Ambassador Kusaka has had postings as Ambassador and Consul-General of Japan in New York (2013-15), Ambassador and Chief of Protocol in Tokyo (2012-13) and Ambassador and Director General for African Affairs (2010-12).

He has considerable knowledge of and experience in economic affairs, having previously worked in senior economic roles with both MOFA and the Ministry of Finance (MOF). Notably, he served as Deputy Vice Minister for International affairs and Deputy Director-General at MOF (2004-06), and oversaw economic partnership agreement negotiations with both Australia and India as Deputy Director-General for the Economic Affairs Bureau at MOFA (2006-08).

Other prior diplomatic postings have included those in Australia, Canada, Tanzania, Boston, Washington, D.C., and as Consul-General in London/Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.K.

Ambassador Kusaka, born in 1953, obtained a bachelor’s degree in law from Chuo University in Japan and then an economics bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. At Harvard University from 1999-2000, he was a fellow in the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs program.


The Consul General of Japan, Melbourne, Ms Keiko Haneda, will be accompanying Ambassador Kusaka. Ms Haneda commenced her career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1977. In addition to positions in the Ministry she has had a range of diplomatic postings.

Register here

This is a joint event with the Asia Institute Tasmania and the
Tasmanian branch of Australian Institute of International Affairs

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