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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Minister to visit Japan - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Minister to visit Japan - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings will leave for a trade mission to Japan today to meet with key Japanese customers, stakeholders in the Tascolt ultra-broadband trial and Japanese investors in the Tasmanian cherry project.

?Japan is easily our most important trading partner,? Ms Giddings said.

?Exports to Japan total more than $700 million each year and it?s very important to meet with customers and key industry people face-to-face.

?I will meet with Hitachi to discuss the Tascolt project and other possible investment opportunities in Tasmania.

?I will also meet with NTT West to gain an insight into their fibre-to-the-home deployment and to build a close relationship with the largest fibre-optic carrier in the world.

?Tascolt is a $10 million ultra broadband trial that will commence in Hobart and Devonport soon.

?During my visit I will be meeting with key investors in the Tasmanian cherry project at a time when the first shipment of Tasmanian cherries is made to Japan from Reid Fruits.

?The Japanese market presents a huge opportunity for the Tasmanian cherry industry.

?We will be supplying cherries at a time of year when Japanese cherries are out of season and when very high prices are achieved for the small quantity of hothouse product that is grown in Japan.

?While in Japan I will also be visiting Professor Ken Sakamura, head of YRP-UNL in Tokyo, Japan.

?Professor Sakamura is already working closely with Hobart company Neoteck on technology applications for ubiquitous computing.

?I will be holding further discussions with Professor Sakamura about more research and investment opportunities within Tasmania, and the identification of further applications that could be trialled in the State.

?I will also be having discussions with sea transport operators and importers of vegetables, seafood and meat whom we export to in Japan?.

The Minister will return to Tasmania on 18 December.

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