Australian PM Mulls Visit to Tokyo: Report

Politics

Sydney, Aug. 20 (Jiji Press)--Australia and Japan are discussing Prime Minister Scott Morrison's visit to Tokyo in the coming months amid China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, the Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday.

The visit is being considered with an aim to stare down Beijing and to send to whoever wins the U.S. presidential election in November a strong signal that the United States needs to step up its engagement in the region, the report said.

According to the report, the two countries are planning to use the occasion of Morrison's trip to Japan to sign a Reciprocal Access Agreement that would facilitate mutual visits by Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the Australian military.

The Australian prime minister's visit to Japan has been strongly requested by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Morrison has also been keen to realize the visit, but there are issues including the need to place himself in a two-week quarantine upon his return to Australia due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

Morrison had looked at visiting Tokyo in time with a meeting of Group of Seven leaders in Washington that was originally seen to take place in summer, but the summit is now likely to be held after the presidential election.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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