Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
October 13, 2010
On October 13, Wednesday, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Seiji Maehara had a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Kevin Rudd, at the Minister’s reception room for about 50 minutes from 5:25 p.m. Mr. Rudd visited Japan on his way to the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Meeting in Brussels. The outline of the bilateral talks is as follows.
- Both Ministers confirmed the success of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, which Japan and Australia co-hosted on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly session last month, and agreed to maintain their close cooperation so that this process produces concrete outcomes.
- Minister Maehara stated Japan’s basic position on the Senkaku Islands and explained that Japan would make efforts to restore good relations between Japan and China based on the reaffirmation to promote a “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests” by both of the leaders of Japan and China at the ASEM8 Summit meeting.
- Minister Rudd mentioned that the negotiation on the Japan-Australia FTA had not made progress. In response, Minister Maehara explained that Japan is working to prepare a comprehensive basic policy on FTAs by the opening of the APEC Yokohama meetings and is also looking into participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Minister Maehara also stated that Japan is interested in Australia’s high-speed railway projects and its rare metals.
- Minister Rudd mentioned the ongoing proceedings on the whaling issue at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In response, Minister Maehara stated that this issue is the only matter of concern between Japan and Australia. Both Ministers agreed to prevent the issue from harming the overall good relations between the two countries.
- Both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the area of security by, among others, making progress in negotiations on the Japan-Australia Agreement on the Protection of Classified Information, following the signing of the Japan-Australia Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement (ACSA) in May. They also reaffirmed the significance that Japan, Australia, and the United States, which share common values, promote cooperation among them.
- Lastly, both Ministers agreed to continue their cooperation for the success of the APEC Yokohama meetings and to keep close communication on various issues.