Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make an historic visit to Darwin in November this year.
The visit, to be hosted by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, is ahead of an APEC meeting of regional leaders in Port Moresby.
Mr Abe is expected to visit the Darwin cenotaph to pay official respects to Australian and Japanese soldiers and civilians killed during the bombing, and to inspect the $34 billion INPEX gas pipeline project, ahead of the first shipment of gas.
This is the first visit to Darwin by a Japanese leader since World War Two, when Japanese forces killed more than 250 people.
Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner"The NT - Japan relationship is based on more than business, it is based on friendship, respect and a profound shared history.
"We are great business partners, but first and foremost we are great friends - and I want to Japan to know it has no better friends in Australia than the people of the Northern Territory.
“This is an incredibly important visit from one of our most significant regional neighbours. It highlights the importance of Australia’s relationship with Japan, and the strategic importance of the Territory.
“Darwin is home to Japan’s single biggest investment outside of Japan, INPEX, and there are at least 40 years of identified future investment in the Territory through that project.
“Through our engagement with the Japanese to date, we have also identified job-creating opportunities in agribusiness, telecommunications and data. My next scheduled visit to Japan is in November, the week prior to Mr Abe’s visit to Darwin.
“It is vital Australia looks to the North, and develops stronger relationships through trade, defence and investment.
“The Territory is uniquely positioned to take advantage of growth in the Asian region, and we warmly welcome this historic visit by Mr Abe.”
Media contact: Cameron Angus - 0404 021 192