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Allens builds ties with Japan through art

Allens builds ties with Japan through art

Allens Arthur Robinson is sponsoring a major art exhibition in Perth that opens this Friday (11 November).The exhibition, Alternating Currents, sees six Japanese artists come to Perth and put…

Allens Arthur Robinson is sponsoring a major art exhibition in Perth that opens this Friday (11 November).

The exhibition, Alternating Currents, sees six Japanese artists come to Perth and put together pieces inspired by Japan's reaction to the devastating earthquake and tsunami early this year.

Allens' Perth office decided to sponsor the exhibition because of the firm's close ties to Japan, but the head of Allens' Japan practice, Tim Lester, said the sponsorship symbolises Australia's close links to Japan in a broader sense.

"[The exhibition] reinforces the strength of the economic and trade relationship but, more broadly, reawakens peoples interest and awareness of Japan socially and culturally ... in this difficult time that they're going through and supporting them in a small way," Lester told Lawyers Weekly.

One of the greatest consequences of the earthquake which hit Japan in March this year was the impact it had on the Fukushima nuclear plant. That impact has led to reassessment by Japan of its "energy mix", said Lester, and consequently, there has been a "significant upturn" of activity by Japanese corporations, particularly in the energy sector, looking for alternative sources of energy

"Despite what we read about the problems its domestic economy is suffering, Japan is actually incredibly active in the outbound M&A market. Compared to last year the M&A outbound activity from Japan is 3.2 times larger than it was," said Lester.

Last year, Japan was Australia's third largest source of foreign direct investment, according to Lester.

"We hear a lot about China, but Japan continues to be really, really important to this economy," he said. "Japan has $117 billion worth of assets in this country - well over two times the stock of assets that China has, for example."

Alternating Currents will be opened by Tatsuo Ishikawa, Consul-General, at the Japanese Consulate in Perth and runs until the end of the year at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts - Perth Cultural Institute.

The exhibition features contemporary installations and performance art pieces and "is shaping up to be quite a fantastic show", said Lester, who visited the Institute in Perth recently.

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