After a year of talks, Canberra and Tokyo pledged to strengthen cooperation between the two militaries
As tensions between the Asia-Pacific region and China increased, the Australian and Japanese governments signed a “milestone” defense agreement. The agreement stipulates that the two countries commit to reciprocal military access.
On Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a virtual meeting to put the reciprocal access agreement into practice.
“Japan is our closest partner in Asia, and our special strategic partnership proves this-Australia’s only such partnership,” Morrison said, adding “Equal partnership” Based on shared trust between two promises “democracy.”
This deal is a “Critical moments for Australia and Japan, and the safety of our two countries and our two peoples,” He added.
Kishida describes the agreement as “A landmark instrument will elevate security cooperation between countries to a new level.”
China was not mentioned at the signing ceremony, but this move is particularly important for Japan because other countries believe that Beijing is showing an increasingly tough attitude.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Wednesday that agreements between nations should focus on peace and must focus on peace. “Not against any third party.”
The reciprocal access agreement makes Australia the second country that has the right to station troops on Japanese territory after the United States, which has been stationed in Japan for a long time. Soldiers from Japan will also be allowed to train and station in Australia.
Negotiators and legislators have been discussing for more than a year to ensure that the agreement does not violate Japan’s constitution and legal restrictions.
Both Japan and Australia joined the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
In recent years, as China’s strength and self-confidence have grown, calls for Japan to abandon the restrictions on militarization after World War II have become increasingly louder. The two countries have long-standing disputes on uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Japan claimed that the Chinese maritime police’s invasion of the surrounding areas of the Senkaku Islands was an obvious provocation.
Tokyo also signed a proposal for the United States to jointly defend Taiwan. Beijing claims that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.
Last year, Australia signed the AUKUS agreement with the United Kingdom and the United States, enabling Canberra to obtain American nuclear submarine technology. The agreement was seen as a challenge to China’s ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region, prompting Beijing to warn that it would trigger an arms race in the region. Australia and China are also engaged in an ongoing trade war.
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