Minister for Defence - Australia and Japan deepen defence and security cooperation

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Senator the Hon David Johnston

Minister for Defence

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16 October 2014

Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston has today met with his Japanese counterpart, Mr Akinori Eto, in Tokyo to discuss deepening defence and security cooperation between the two countries.

This is the first time the Ministers have met since Minister Eto’s appointment 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 successful visit to Australia over 7-10 July 2014.

The Ministers discussed ways to deepen practical defence cooperation between Australia and Japan, following the series of initiatives agreed to by Prime Ministers Abbott and Abe in July 2014. Minister Eto also briefed Senator Johnston on the Interim Report on the US-Japan Defense Guidelines.

"I welcome the report’s identification of increasing trilateral and multilateral security and defence cooperation with regional allies and partners as a key priority,” Senator Johnston said.

"I also note this is in line with Australian Government policy and consistent with the joint statement released by Prime Minister Abbott and Prime Minister Abe in July.”

Based on earlier discussions, Senator Johnston also made a request of Minister Eto to investigate the possibility of Japanese cooperation in the Australian Future Submarine Program. The Australian Government, however, has not yet decided on a particular submarine design and more work is required before such a decision is made.

Tomorrow, Senator Johnston will visit the NEC defence industry site and meet with officials from Fujitsu. Australia and Japan have continued to increase cooperation in Defence science and technology and Defence industry engagement.

Australia and Japan share common platforms and capabilities so are natural defence partners.

The visit will conclude on 17 October 2014.

Media contacts:

Brad Rowswell (Minister Johnston’s office) 0417 917 796

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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