Australian Ambassador’s special talk at Hokkaido University

University News | June 13, 2024

On 3 June 2024, H.E. Mr Justin Hayhurst, Australian Ambassador to Japan, delivered a special talk on the Australia-Japan cooperation  in the Indo Pacific – Security, climate/energy, education, science and technology at the Centennial Hall, Hokkaido University.  The event was jointly organised by the Australian Embassy Japan and Hokkaido University’s Office for International Collaborations and the Platform for Explorations in Survival Strategies at the Slavic-Eurasia Research Center.  This was the very first official Hokkaido visit by Mr. Hayhurst after the commencement of his appointment as the Ambassador in January 2023, and designed as a part of his visit as well as Upopoy the National Ainu Museum and Park, Niseko and other neighboring towns where many Australians travel over throughout a year, the Ishikari Bay New Port Offshore Wind Farm which is the largest commercial wind farm in Japan, and the Chitose semiconductor plant of Rapidus Corporation.

Professor Iwashita

Mr. Hayhurst

Fifty participants including Fisheries Sciences students from the University’s Hakodate campus via Zoom welcomed the Ambassador and his fellow staff members.  Senior Academic Specialist Taena Uemura from the Office for International Collaborations introduced existing Hokkaido University’s research collaborations with Australian universities, particularly the University of Melbourne, a strategic international research partner of Hokkaido University prior to the talks.  A pre-talk by Professor Akihiro Iwashita from the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center explained the two countries’ positions, geopolitical impacts in the Indo Pacific and food security issues.  Mr. Hayhurst widely talked about economic relationships from touristic exchange to Japan’s continued investment for food, energy resources, real estate, life insurance, and other business in Australia, and pressed rising necessities and opportunities for the two countries to work together on (cyber-)security and policy making, reflecting rapidly changing situations around the world in recent years.  Countries around the Indo Pacific have different views and conditions; however, Japan and Australia have shared values and nourished trust, and are ready to deepen their mutually beneficial relationships, Ambassador expressed his positive prospect and concluded an hour event.


 (Photos and text provided by the Office for International Collaborations and Slavic-Eurasian Research Center)