Minister for Defence - Visit to The People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Japan

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Senator the Hon David Johnston

Minister for Defence

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11 October 2014

Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, will leave today for an official visit to China, the Republic of Korea and Japan from 12 to 17 October 2014.

“This is a significant visit to three of Australia’s most important defence and security partners,” Senator Johnston said.

“I look forward to meeting with my counterparts in China, the Republic of Korea and Japan to discuss bilateral defence relations and cooperation, and to working with each of them to enhance regional and indeed global security. Along with the United States, Australia is pleased to have trilateral cooperative initiatives with each of these nations.”

In China, Senator Johnston will hold his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart, the Minister of National Defense, General Chang Wanquan, and will also meet the Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, General Fan Changlong. Senator Johnston will visit the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Peacekeeping Centre and the PLA-Navy’s North Sea Fleet. Senator Johnston’s visit to China occurs as Australia hosts Exercise KOWARI, in which personnel from China’s PLA, the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps and the Australian Army are working together in the first trilateral exercise between our countries.

In the Republic of Korea, Senator Johnston will conduct the third Defence Ministers’ Dialogue with his counterpart, the Minister of National Defense, Han Min-koo, and will meet the Commander United States Forces Korea, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, General Curtis Scaparrotti. Senator Johnston will also visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone, an important reminder of the persistent threat posed by North Korea. As part of our commitment to peace and security in this region, Australia is a contributing nation to the United Nations Command.

In Japan, Senator Johnston will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Mr Akinori Eto, in Tokyo.  This will be their first meeting as Minister Eto was appointed as Japan’s Minister of Defense on 3 September 2014.  This visit continues the high-level engagement on security and defence between Australia and Japan, building upon Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Australia in July this year.

Media contacts:
Brad Rowswell (Minister Johnston's Office) 0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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