It is my great pleasure, as Chancellor of the Australia Japan Society – Queensland, to reiterate my whole-hearted support for the Society in its on-going promotion of Queensland’s vital bilateral relationship with Japan.

During our visit to Japan in 2016, Kaye and I witnessed at first hand the importance of our State’s links with a like-minded, democratic partner in the Asia Pacific region. Our program mirrored the breadth of the relationship, taking in trade and investment, education, science, health, culture and even culinary connections.

At present, COVID-19 restrictions aimed at protecting communities have made ‘islands’ of many countries through the sharp fall in international passenger transport and the unavoidable need for governments to focus inwards as they combat the disease.

But these developments have not changed the importance of Queensland’s international relationships. Those links will be as important as ever, if not more so, as governments around the globe seek to ease restrictions and revive their economies.

The Australia-Japan Society’s experience, expertise and connections will be of great assistance in refreshing and reanimating many elements of Queensland’s links with Japan when conditions allow.

In the meantime, the Society continues to contribute through practical assistance to international and in particular Japanese students in Queensland, and its ongoing on-line activities keeping Queenslanders up-to-date with bilateral developments.

As Governor and Chancellor, I thank the Society for its commitment to the Queensland-­Japan relationship and look forward to the Society’s role in encouraging the return of the bilateral connection to its full strength, breadth and depth.