Scott Morrison jets overseas for the first time since THAT holiday to Hawaii during the bushfires – and he’ll dodge hotel quarantine when he gets back
- Scott Morrison will visit Japan and Papua New Guinea next week to meet leaders
- It will be his first trip overseas since infamous holiday to Hawaii in December
- Mr Morrison will become the first world leader to meet the new Japanese PM
On Tuesday he will become the first world leader to meet new Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga whose long-serving predecessor Shizo Abe resigned with bowel disease in August.
On his way back from Tokyo, Mr Morrison will stop in Port Moresby to meet Papua New Guinea leader James Marape before returning home on Thursday.
Scott Morrison will visit Japan and Papua New Guinea next week in his first international trip since a holiday to Hawaii (pictured) in December
Mr Morrison will stop in Port Moresby to meet Papua New Guinea leader James Marape (pictured together in August 2019) before returning home on Thursday
Instead of serving coronavirus quarantine in a small hotel room like ordinary Aussies, Mr Morrison will spend two weeks at The Lodge, the prime minister’s 40-room Georgian-style mansion in Canberra.
The ACT gives parliamentarians an exemption from hotel quarantine, allowing them to isolate at home.
In the second week of his quarantine period, Mr Morrison will dial in to Question Time in Parliament via video link.
Mr Morrison said he was ‘confident’ he would not catch coronavirus abroad because the two nations he is visiting have low case numbers and ‘precautions’ would be taken.
In a statement, the prime minister said he was ‘honoured’ to be the first leader to meet Prime Minister Suga.
The leaders will discuss trade, defence and security issues, as well as opening up a coronavirus travel-bubble between the two nations.
On Tuesday Mr Morrison will become the first world leader to meet new Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga (pictured) whose long-serving predecessor Shizo Abe resigned with bowel disease in August
‘I look forward to hearing from Prime Minister Suga and Prime Minister Marape about their experiences in responding to COVID-19 and discussing ways to work together towards a stable, peaceful and resilient Indo-Pacific,’ he said.
The prime minister’s last official visit aboard was to Bangkok in November for the East Asia summit.
His last trip overseas was for a holiday to Hawaii in December when he was roundly criticised for leaving the country during one of the worst bushfire seasons on record.
A scheduled trip to India and Japan in January was cancelled due to the bushfires and then coronavirus hit Australia in March.
Visit to Japan and Papua New Guinea: Scott Morrison’s statement
Next week I will hold important meetings with two of Australia’s closest friends in Tokyo on 17 – 18 November, and Port Moresby on 18 – 19 November.
This will be my first meeting with the new Prime Minister of Japan, His Excellency Mr Suga Yoshihide. I’m honoured to be the first foreign leader to visit Japan to meet with Prime Minister Suga following his appointment.
Our relationship with Japan over the past few years has gone from strength to strength. We are Special Strategic Partners, and we work closely together on trade, security, defence and technology issues. I look forward to continuing to deepen that partnership.
Japan will play an important role in our economic recovery from COVID-19. I hope we can chart a course for the re-opening of travel, and discuss ways to deepen our trade ties worth $86 billion, including under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.
On the way back to Australia I plan to take the opportunity to see my friend the Hon James Marape MP, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, our closest neighbour.
We will continue our discussions about advancing our many shared regional and global objectives, ahead of a formal bilateral visit I hope to make next year.
Australia, Japan and Papua New Guinea have managed the coronavirus incredibly well, and I am confident the precautions in place during this travel will minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
I will be strictly following health advice and quarantine requirements when I return to Australia, as will staff and officials accompanying me, RAAF attendants and pilots, and media.
I look forward to hearing from Prime Minister Suga and Prime Minister Marape about their experiences in responding to COVID-19 and discussing ways to work together towards a stable, peaceful and resilient Indo-Pacific.