Richard Andrews was appointed CEO of the Australia-Japan Business Co-operation Committee in March 2021 following a career of more than thirty years as an Australian diplomat. During that time he served overseas in Kuala Lumpur (Second Secretary 1990-93), Tokyo (First Secretary then Counsellor 1996-99), London (Counsellor and Head of Political and Trade Policy Branch, 2002-2005), Tokyo (Minister Political 2008-2012) and Dublin (Australian Ambassador to Ireland, 2016-2019).
Richard has been a Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University from March 2020 to the present. His focus was on the potential for building trade in renewable energy, notably low-carbon hydrogen, between Australia and the region.
During his diplomatic career, Richard had extensive dealings with Australian business at senior levels, including as an active Patron of the Irish-Australian Chamber of Commerce in Dublin.
Richard has a long-standing interest in Japan and Australia-Japan relations, having first started learning Japanese at the age of 11. He was an exchange student in Kobe in 1982, attending Kobe Prefectural High School, where he was the only non-Japanese student in a cohort of 1350. He majored in Japanese for his BA (Hons) at the University of Sydney, during which he spent some months at Kwansei Gakuin University. Richard worked in the Sydney Bureau of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun in 1986 and 1987. He was the interpreter for the well-known Japanese author Shiina Makoto when he visited Australia to research the book “Neppuu Tairiku” (“Hot wind continent”), in which he appears. As Executive Director of DFAT’s Economic Analytical Unit in 2008, Richard directed and co-authored a major published report on the bilateral commercial relationship.