Government of Western Australia Official Site


WA welcomes Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Mrs Akie Abe to Western Australia for the first time, celebrating Japan’s long-standing economic ties with the State. Mr Abe, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and Mr Barnett will visit the West Angelas iron ore mine in the Pilbara, a site of significant Japanese investment in WA. The mine is owned by the Robe River joint venture of Rio Tinto, Mitsui & Co, and Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation.

“Japanese investment played a vital role in helping to establish WA’s resources industry both through its early support of the iron industry and as a foundation customer of the North West Shelf liquid natural gas project,” Mr Barnett said. “Japan remains a very active long-term investor in WA, with the Robe River joint venture currently working to expand the capacity of West Angelas from 29 million to 35 million tonnes per year.” The West Angelas expansion represents an investment of $640 million and will create around 290 construction jobs and 200 new operational jobs.

Japan is WA’s second largest export market, with exports totalling $22.8billion in 2013; or 48.5 per cent of Australia’s total exports to Japan. In 2013, three quarters of the State’s LNG by volume went to Japan while iron ore exports rose four per cent to 78 million tonnes. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first LNG shipment to Japan from the North West Shelf. Japan Australia LNG (MIMI), a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co., holds a one-sixth share in the North West Shelf LNG project.

The Premier will have a private meeting with Mr Abe this evening, and Mr Barnett will jointly host a dinner for Mr and Mrs Abe.

Mr Barnett said: “I also expect that the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement between Australia and Japan will create new and exciting opportunities for WA not only in minerals and energy, but especially in agriculture. I look forward to discussing these opportunities with Mr Abe during his time in WA.”