The Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Australia and Japan (the NARA Treaty) was the first treaty of friendship and amity signed between Australia and any other country. Importantly it extended most-favoured-nation status or non-discriminatory treatment beyond trade to all commercial dealings between Australia and Japan, including investment and migration and stay. It was a framework agreement that established a comprehensive basis of equality and fairness in economic and political relations. Yet it is frequently seen as not having had any substantial economic impact on the relationship. This article argues otherwise. It demonstrates that the NARA Treaty had a large and measurable effect on the intensity of investment flows and suggests that it had similar effects on the movement of people between the two economies.