Japan-Australia Prime Ministers' Meeting

23 September, 2009

On 23 September 2009, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia in New York. The meeting lasted 40 minutes, from 2:30pm to 3:10pm, with the first 10 minutes a tet-a-tete discussion. The topics discussed at the bilateral meeting are as follows.

1. Japan-Australia Bilateral Relationship

Prime Minister Rudd said that the bilateral relationship between Japan and Australia is the most important one for Australia. The two Prime Ministers agreed on the importance of further strengthening not only the economic side of the relationship but also political and security cooperation between Japan and Australia. Furthermore, the two Prime Ministers agreed to further the trilateral security cooperation between Japan, Australia and the United States of America, in addition to the bilateral cooperation.

2. North Korea

Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that Japan cannot condone the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile development and that the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea is a grave human rights issue. Prime Minister Rudd responded that Australia would continue to support Japanese policy toward North Korea. Prime Minister Hatoyama noted that the resolution of North Korean issues would require sanctions at certain times, in addition to dialogue and cooperation. The two Prime Ministers agreed to continue working together, including ensuring the steady implementation of UNSCR 1874, with the aim of resolving North Korean issues.

3. Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

The two Prime Ministers expressed their expectations that the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, which was established by the joint initiative of Japan and Australia and has been co-chaired by former Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and former Australian Foreign Minister Evans, would produce a constructive report by the end of this year. They agreed to cooperate for the success of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 2010, taking into account the contents of the Commission's report.

4. G20

The two Prime Ministers agreed on the key role the G20 Summit Meeting has played in responding to the global economic and financial crisis and committed themselves to continuing cooperation on this issue.

5. Future of the Asia-Pacific region

Concerning his proposal to establish an Asia Pacific Community, Prime Minister Rudd underlined that the membership of the community should include the United States, China, Southeast Asian countries and India and that the community should discuss not only economic issues, but also political, security and environmental issues. Prime Minister Hatoyama responded that he would like to promote his proposal to establish an East Asia Community, and highlighted the need to ensure engagement by the United States in the consideration of a future framework for regional cooperation. The two Prime Ministers agreed to deepen the discussion.

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