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Gillard to visit Japan, South Korea and China

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced she will make her first bilateral state visit to North Asia from 20 to 27 April. The visit will focus on boosting Australia’s trading relationship with top export markets Japan, South Korea and China. Gillard will begin her trip in Japan to show Australia’s support for the Japanese people following the recent devastating earthquakes and tsunami and the ongoing nuclear disaster. Meeting with the Emperor and Empress of Japan and Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Gillard hopes to discuss ways to advance Australia’s comprehensive security and economic partnership with the country. In South Korea, Gillard will lead a service commemorating the 60th anniversary of the battle of Kapyong, and mark Anzac Day by attending a dawn service. She will also meet with President Lee Myung-Bak and Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, focussing on security concerns on the Korean peninsula and strengthening the Korea-Australia economic partnership. In Beijing, she will meet President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabow to discuss ways to enhance regional cooperation and build the trading relationship between the two countries. China is currently Australia’s top two-way trade partner. Gillard will also attend a roundtable of CEOs of major Australian and Chinese corporations and speak at the Australia-China Economic Trade Cooperation Forum.

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