Japan, Australia Conclude Status of Forces Accord
Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, signed on Thursday an agreement stipulating the legal status of Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel and Australian troops while in each other's territories.
Kishida and Morrison signed the Reciprocal Access Agreement ahead of their videoconference the same day.
The pact is aimed at strengthening security cooperation between Japan and Australia amid China's growing hegemonic moves in the Indo-Pacific region.
The deal is the equivalent of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, which governs U.S. troops stationed in Japan, under the bilateral security treaty.
It is the first time for Japan to conclude an RAA, which applies to both the SDF and a foreign country's military. Japan hopes that the agreement with Australia, regarded by the Japanese government as a quasi-ally, will serve as a precedent and help accelerate similar cooperation with other like-minded countries.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]