Wednesday 05 Oct 2022 | 15:19 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 05 Oct 2022 | 15:19 | SYDNEY

Australia-Japan: The damage done


Malcolm Cook

3 August 2010 13:40

For the last three years, I have been involved in an on-off blog debate on the health of Australia-Japan relations and the Rudd Government's decision to escalate the whaling issue. A recent Japanese opinion poll on Australian views of Japan suggests Canberra's continued focus on whaling and the lack of sustained leadership attention on any other aspect of our most important partnership in Asia has had a detrimental effect.

The poll results show that a majority of Australians polled do not see Japan as a reliable partner, a complete reversal from the 2006 result and the worst ever result recorded by this regular poll. 

Rudd's attenuated prime ministership was bad for Australia-Japan relations and after 21 August, Prime Minister Gillard or Abbott should focus on repairing the damage done. Less talk about whales and more about the deepening economic and strategic relationship would be a start, as would dumping the dishonest if politically convenient claim that the dispute over whaling has had no spill-over effect into the relationship as a whole. 

Photo by Flickr user cfdls, used under a Creative Commons license.