Japan, Australia Agree to Expand Joint Military Drills


Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)--The foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Australia reaffirmed Friday that the two countries will expand their joint military drills based on a joint declaration signed at a bilateral summit in October.

In the so-called two-plus-two meeting held in Tokyo, the ministers also agreed to support Pacific island nations, to which China has been increasing its commitment, for the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told a joint press conference that the participants opposed anew any unilateral attempts to change the status quo.

"It is really important for the two countries to have similar strategic assessments on the international situations in deepening security cooperation," Hayashi said.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles pointed out at the news conference that the Japanese and Australian forces can enhance their interoperability through advanced and complicated exercises.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press