Japan's participation in the New Colombo Plan
Today, I formally launch Japan's involvement in Australia's New Colombo Plan.
This important policy will foster closer ties between Australia and our region and develop stronger people-to-people and institutional links.
I am pleased that Japan, as a participant in this pilot phase – along with Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia – has shown such strong support for the New Colombo Plan. This will encourage increasing numbers of young Australians to study and gain career experience in Japan.
Australia is the most popular destination for Japanese school tours. The New Colombo Plan will enhance two-way mobility between our higher education sectors.
The story of the original Colombo Plan is remarkable. Some 40,000 future leaders came to our country from the 1950s to the mid-1980s and many of the changes that we have seen in our region over the decades have been influenced by those who – returning from this country – helped to lead others.
Our New Colombo Plan will be different and better than the original, adding an outward-bound component to the original one-way street.
Over time, this will be a true two-way New Colombo Plan which takes Australian university students to Asian universities to learn more about our region and brings the best and brightest talent from the region to Australia.
Australia has much to offer the world; but much to learn, as well – especially from Asia.
I am pleased to launch this first pilot phase of Japan's involvement in the New Colombo Plan, which complements Prime Minister Abe's ambition to double the number of Japanese students studying abroad.
7 April 2014