Japan, Australia to Sign Status of Forces Pact on Thurs.


Tokyo, Jan. 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese and Australian governments said Wednesday they will sign on Thursday an agreement stipulating the legal status of Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel and Australian troops while in each other's territories.

The Reciprocal Access Agreement will be signed during a videoconference between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison.

The agreement, which applies to both the SDF and a foreign country's military, will be the first of its kind for Japan.

It is expected to strengthen security cooperation between Japan and Australia, regarded by the Japanese government as a quasi-ally behind the key ally of the United States.

"Australia is a special strategic partner promoting coordination mainly under the framework" of the Oceanian country, Japan, the United States and India, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference on Wednesday."We'll deepen collaboration to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region," he also said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press