Outgoing Consul General of Japan in Perth, Tatsuo Hirayama, connected, soon after his
arrival here, with a neighbour near the Residence, The Hon Dr Nicholas Blain. Tatsuo soon
discovered that Nicholas had a very early involvement in university student delegations to
Japan.

The Australian Overseas Student Travel Scheme (AOSTS) was open to all graduate
Australian University students to make application for official trips. The programme was
organised by the National Union of Australian University Students (NUAUS) and supported by
the reciprocal Japanese University Student Scheme, the Japan Australia Student Exchange
Federation (JASEF).

Nicholas Blain B. Ec (Hons) (UWA) was selected as the Leader of the Australian Universities
Graduate Student Delegation to Japan for 1965-66. He was invited by the NUAUS
Secretary, Robert Holmes a Court, to take up the appointment.
The primary purpose of the annual visits was to strengthen the educational and cultural links,
understanding of the languages and to foster friendship between Australia and Japan. As
important trading partners, the programme also promoted better mutual understanding of
both economies.

Nicholas visited Tokyo again in 1983, this time accompanied by his wife (Danielle), and had
a wonderful reunion with members of his host family. He still maintains contact with them, 52
years after his original visit.
This program shared the same ideals on which the Australia-Japan Society of WA was
established later in 1974.

Read Nicholas’ original report from the 1965-66 delegation which has never been published.

Consul General of Japan in Perth Tatsuo Hirayama and his neighbour the Hon. Nicholas Blain with the report.

(Second row from the front, second from the left) Nicholas and the delegation headed for Japan in 1965.