Australia & Japan sign ‘landmark’ defense pact amid China tensions — Analysis

After a year-long dialogue, Canberra and Tokyo agreed to a greater cooperation among their military forces

A “landmark” defense deal has been signed by the governments of Australia and Japan, amid increased tensions with China in the Asia-Pacific. Both countries agree to military access reciprocally under the pact.

Fumio Kirisha, Japanese Prime Minister and Scott Morrison from Australia met via video to finalize the Reciprocal Access Agreement.

“Japan is our closest partner in Asia, as demonstrated by our special strategic partnership – Australia’s only such partnership,”Morrison added that the company was “an equal partnership”Based on the mutual trust of two partners “democracies.”

It was an agreement. “pivotal moment for Australia and Japan, and the security of our two nations and our people,”He added.

Kishida described it as “a landmark instrument which will elevate security cooperation between the nations to new heights.”

China was not present at the signing ceremony. But the Japan move is especially significant as it coincides with what many other countries see as an increase in assertiveness from Beijing.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated that agreements between countries should be based on peace and not conflict. “not target any third parties.”

Reciprocal Access Agreement gives Australia second status after the US. Australia is allowed to send troops to Japan. Japan’s soldiers will be allowed to train or be stationed here. 

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In an attempt to avoid any legal and constitutional problems in Japan, lawmakers and negotiators have met for more than a year.
Australia and Japan joined a diplomatic boycott against the Beijing Olympics.

In recent years, calls to Japan for the removal of its post-1942 restrictions on military operations have become more vocal as China grows in power and assertiveness. They have been involved in a lengthy dispute over uninhabited East China Sea islands. Japan asserts that Chinese coast guard intrusions into the Senkaku Islands area are an act of provocation.

Tokyo also agreed to an American proposal for jointly defending Taiwan. Beijing asserts Taiwan is part of its territory.

Australia’s AUKUS partnership with USA and UK gave Canberra access last year to American nuclear submarine technology. The pact was seen as a challenge to China’s perceived ambitions in the Asia-Pacific, prompting Beijing to warn it would trigger an arms race in the region. Australia and China have been engaged in ongoing trade warfare.

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