Japan-Australia Relations

November 12, 2014
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
On Wednesday, November 12, commencing slightly after 2:00 p.m. (4:30 p.m., JST), for approximately 50 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a Japan-Australia Summit Meeting with the Hon. Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, during his visit to Myanmar for ASEAN-related Summit Meetings. The outline of the meeting is as follows. 

1. Opening Remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abbott opened the meeting by stating he would like to make the ‘special relationship’ between Japan and Australia more robust, broader and pluralistic and to further strengthen defense cooperation including on defense equipment and technology. He said the amicable and cooperative relationship between Japan and Australia is symbolized by the active trade and investment between the two countries and people-to-people ties, and Australia’s post-war prosperity would have been inconceivable without Japan’s support.
(2) Prime Minister Abe thanked Prime Minister Abbott for his sympathy extended after the eruption of Mount Ontake. He also conveyed his congratulations over the success of the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event on November 1, in which the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel Kirisame also participated. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe appreciated Prime Minister Abbott’s leadership as Chair of the G-20 Brisbane Summit, expressing his will to contribute to the fullest extent to ensuring concrete outcomes at the Summit.

2. Bilateral relations

(1) On security and defense cooperation, including an agreement to facilitate joint operations and exercises, the two leaders confirmed work in progress since their last meeting in New York in September.
(2) The leaders confirmed that the governments would make specific coordination to realize Prime Minister Abbott’s visit to Japan at a mutually convenient timing next year .
(3) Following a proposal by Prime Minister Abe, the two leaders confirmed to consider in detail the idea of reorganizing and reinforcing the “Australia-Japan Conference,” experts’ forum to discuss the bilateral relationship.
(4) In regard to economic relations, the two leaders confirmed to advance domestic procedures to swiftly bring the Japan-Australia EPA into force. They also shared the view that Japan and Australia will closely coordinate toward an early conclusion of TPP as well as completion of the negotiations on the RCEP by the end of 2015. The leaders also exchanged views on enhancing cooperation in the energy field.

3. Cooperation in the regional and international arenas

(1) The two leaders confirmed that Japan and Australia would coordinate and cooperate, including at the East Asia Summit (EAS), on various international challenges such as ISIL and the Ebola virus disease as well as issues on regional peace and stability, including North Korea and the South China Sea.
(2) Additionally, the leaders also confirmed cooperation on achieving a successful Japan-Australia-United States Trilateral Summit Meeting, as well as on United Nations reform in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN next year.
(3) Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe referred to the recent developments in connection with Japan-China relations, including the Japan-China Summit Meeting held in Beijing on November 10, and explained he had been able to mark the first step toward Japan and China returning to the starting point of the “Mutually Beneficial Relationship based on Common Strategic Interests” to improve their relations. In response, Prime Minister Abbott hoped the dialogue between Japan and China would move further ahead as a result of the meeting.

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