Japan, Australia Defense Chiefs Affirm Ambitious Cooperation

Politics

Tokyo, June 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, agreed Wednesday to bolster defense cooperation between the two countries in an ambitious and forward-looking manner.

In their meeting in Tokyo, the two ministers confirmed that their countries oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, apparently keeping China's increasingly hegemonic attitude in mind. They also agreed on the importance of maritime order based on the rule of law.

The two ministers confirmed that Japan's Self-Defense Forces and Australian military will increase the level of sophistication in their joint exercises to boost interoperability. They also agreed to ramp up cooperation in the space and cyber fields, and accelerate coordination to boost science and technology cooperation.

"Strengthening the two countries' defense capabilities means strengthening the Indo-Pacific region's security," Kishi said at the beginning of the meeting.

Marles said that Japan is important to Australia in light of the current complicated international environment.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press