Japan, Australia to Hold 2-Plus-2 Wed.
Tokyo, June 3 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese and Australian governments are planning to hold "two-plus-two" talks in an online format among their foreign and defense ministers next Wednesday, multiple sources said Thursday.
The meeting is aimed at confirming their cooperation to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region and keep in check China's rising military presence in the East and South China seas.
The two sides will seek to make progress in negotiations on a proposed pact on the legal statuses of Japanese Self-Defense Forces and Australian military personnel during their visits to the other's country.
Tokyo and Canberra reached a broad agreement on the pact, similar to the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, at a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, last November.
The two sides are also expected to discuss the possibility of the SDF guarding Australian vessels and aircraft.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]