he most interesting opportunities we get as DFAT officers are not always found behind a desk in Canberra. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to accompany Simon Newnham, Australia’s APEC Ambassador and First Assistant Secretary of the Investment and Economic Division, on a visit to Tokyo. As part of that visit, Simon addressed a Symposium hosted by Japan’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) and the Australian National University (ANU).

Australia now – a flagship public diplomacy initiative that celebrates contemporary Australian innovation, creativity and lifestyle – complements our trade and strategic relationship with a key partner country each year.

My experience as an intern in the Australian Embassy in Japan has been everything I hoped it would be – and more! My understanding of international affairs and Japanese has increased and I have grown and developed as a person.

Being provided with the opportunity to live, study and work in Tokyo while on a New Colombo Plan scholarship has also been phenomenal. Whilst Tokyo is a busy, densely populated city, it never ceases to amaze me there is always green space, festivals to attend, and places to relax.  Life is never boring.

Among the many revealing results in the recent Lowy Institute Poll was that 86 per cent of Australians trust Japan ‘to act responsibly in the world’, equal to trust in Germany and second only to confidence in the UK (90 per cent).