Griffith Asia Institute will host a high level workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov 12-13) that addresses core energy security challenges and opportunities confronting Australia and Japan in the 21st century.

The workshop is a major initiative of Griffith University’s annual Australia-Japan Dialogue, now in its fourth year.

The 2013 Australia-Japan Dialogue is sponsored by the Japan Foundation and the Australia-Japan Foundation and it is the only forum of its type in Australia.

In 2012 the Dialogue workshop was held at the Australian embassy in Tokyo in partnership with Price Waterhouse Coopers and covered the pressing issue of disaster crisis management with a focus on lessons learned from Japanese and Australian experiences.

The Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, Professor Andrew O’Neil, says the Australia-Japan relationship is becoming increasingly important in a period where the Asia-Pacific confronts some serious challenges.

“We often focus on the bilateral trade and investment relationship, which is of course critical, but it’s really important we don’t lose sight of the fact that Australia and Japan have a lot in common in terms of the key public policy challenges they face” Professor O’Neil said.

“Promoting long-term energy security is at the forefront of these challenges, and this has become particularly crucial for Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, which has had a massive impact on its nuclear energy sector.”

The aim of the November 12-13 workshop is to foster detailed discussion of energy security through the presentation of formal papers by Australian and Japanese experts drawn from government, industry, and academia. Experts include the Vice Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Tatsujiro Suzuki.

Professor O’Neil notes that the Australia-Japan Dialogue workshop has direct relevance for Queensland. The State’s single most important trading partner is Japan, and there is major Japanese investment across Queensland, much of which is concentrated in the energy sector.

“Understanding what is driving Japan’s energy demand in the 21st Century will be central to market strategy and therefore critical to the success of the State’s exports and investment goals going forward.

“The 2013 Australia-Japan Dialogue aims to provide an important contribution to lifting our knowledge in this strategic area.”