Virtual summit: Australia and Japan signed defence agreement

In the Indo-Pacific region, Japan and Australia have signed a historic defence pact, demonstrating their resolve in the face of China’s growing power. The agreement allows the armies of the two countries to work together more closely. In a virtual summit, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signed a mutual access agreement.

This is Japan’s first defence agreement with a country other than the United States. This sparked nearly a year of talks between the two countries aimed at breaking down legal barriers and allowing soldiers from one country to train in the other’s country.

“Japan is our closest Asian partner, and our special strategic partnership reflects that,” Morrison said. The two democracies have an equal partnership and shared beliefs in the rule of law, human rights, free trade, and a free and open Indo-Pacific. The agreement, according to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Kishida, is a historic document that will propel security cooperation between the two countries to new heights.

Safety is at a crossroads.
Although China was not mentioned explicitly during the signing of the agreement, its significance is clear. “What Japan and Australia can do together in the deteriorating security environment is to increase mutual deterrence,” said Shingo Yamagami, Japan’s ambassador to Australia. According to Morrison, the two countries will now have a link in the conduct of defence and self-defense forces. This is a critical time for both countries’ security.

China and Japan have a territorial dispute.
The agreement recognised the importance of a strong defence partnership to deter an aggressive China, according to Malcolm Davis, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “As Tokyo recognises the challenges it faces from China, Japan is breaking down postwar constitutional barriers to the use of military force,” he said. Let us inform you that China and Japan are already involved in a territorial dispute.

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