Japan has been and will remain an important trading partner and investor for Australia’s resources sector. Japan is Australia’s largest export destination for thermal coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) and second largest for metallurgical coal, iron ore and copper.

The Japan–Australia resources investment and trade relationship began with the the signing of the landmark Australia–Japan Agreement on Commerce (the Commerce Agreement) in 1957. Soon to follow were long term supply contracts and investment in iron ore and coal to ensure a secure and reliable supply to Japan. Over the last decade, Japan has expanded its investment to Australia’s LNG industry. This relationship helped to develop large portions of regional Australia, including the Pilbara, Bowen Basin and the Hunter Valley; opened up Australia to world trade and brought world-class Japanese engineering and technology to our operations.

Japan-Australia trade and investment agreements

How is the department involved?

Working with our Resources Counsellor in Tokyo, the department plays an active role in:

  • Communicating with our Japanese counterparts, and industry on relevant resources policies and initiatives
  • Engaging and building relationships with Japan to promote resources trade and investment.

The department also participates in the biennial Australia-Japan High-Level Group on Energy and Minerals Consultations (HLG). The HLG brings together government officials, industry and research agencies from both countries to explore mutual areas of understanding and promote cooperation in the energy and resources sectors.

Related Pages

More information

Australia-Japan bilateral forums

Government agencies and research institutes


Email: bilaterals@industry.gov.au.

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