Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Overview)
On January 13, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, visiting Australia, held Japan-Australia Foreign Ministers' Meeting with Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from 1:15 p.m. local time (including a working lunch). The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the beginning, Foreign Minister Carr welcomed Minister Kishida's visit to Australia right after his appointment as Japanese foreign minister, stated that Japan was one of the most important partners for Australia, and said he would like to strengthen cooperative relations with Japan. In response, Minister Kishida stated that he placed great importance on Australia as a strategic partner sharing basic values and interests, that he would like to share perceptions with Australia concerning the strategic environment, and that he wanted to strengthen cooperative relations with Australia.
- Additionally, Minister Kishida expressed sympathy on behalf of the Government and people of Japan for damages caused by bushfires in various parts of Australia. In response, Foreign Minister Carr expressed his gratitude.
- Minister Kishida stated that the new administration would accelerate restoration and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and also explained its fundamental guideline on economic and diplomatic policies. Foreign Minister Carr expressed his gratitude for the explanation.
- Australia serves as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for two years from this year, and in connection to this, both ministers shared the view that they would pursue close cooperation, including regular meetings in both capitals and in New York. Particularly, concerning North Korea's missile launch, both ministers shared the view that it was a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions and that it would be important for the Security Council to act firmly. In addition, Minister Kishida explained Japan's stance on abduction issue. In response, Foreign Minister Carr expressed his support for Japan's stance. Ministers also exchanged opinions on Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and other topics that are the main agenda of the U.N. Security Council.
- Furthermore, both ministers exchanged views on the strategic environment in the Asia-Pacific region. Minister Kishida explained Japan's basic stance concerning situations in the Korean Peninsula, issues surrounding the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and other issues. In response, Foreign Minister Carr explained Australia's view concerning the strategic environment of East Asia. He also stated that it would be important to pursue the peaceful resolution of regional issues in accordance with international laws.
- Concerning security cooperation between Japan and Australia, Minister Kishida stated that security cooperation between the two countries had deepened since the "Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation" signed by Prime Minister Abe, in 2007. He expressed his intention to continue consultations at various levels in order to steadily develop Japan-Australia security and defense cooperation on the basis of the past achievements. Foreign Minister Carr expressed his consent.
- The two ministers shared the view that they would work towards the early conclusion of a Japan-Australia economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations and that they would cooperate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
- Minister Kishida stated that he would like to continue close coordination with Australia concerning the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NDPI) particularly because he was originally from Hiroshima. Foreign Minister Carr expressed his support.
- The two ministers exchanged views on the situations in Pacific Island countries. Foreign Minister Carr commended Japan's contribution to Pacific Island countries. In response, Minister Kishida stated that he would like to enhance cooperation between Japan and Australia in Pacific Island countries and said that in particular, he would like to cooperate with Australia towards the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting Ministerial Interim Meeting to follow up the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting to be held in autumn this year. Foreign Minister Carr gave his concurrence.
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