Australia-Japan Defence Ministers’ Meeting

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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

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02 6277 7800

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19 October 2023

On 19 October the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP met Japanese Minister of Defense, Kihara Minoru and held the annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Tokyo.

Japan is an indispensable partner to Australia, underscored by our Special Strategic Partnership and the updated Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation (JDSC). Our unprecedented strategic alignment and abiding interest in preserving peace in the region drives our cooperation.

Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the landmark Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement, transforming our defence cooperation and enhancing the interoperability of our forces.

Discussions built on recent milestones in our defence relationship, including:

  • First applications of the Reciprocal Access Agreement last month in our mutual deployment exercises of F-35As, including for Exercise Bushido Guardian;
  • Live-firing of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s surface-to-air and surface-to-ship missiles during Exercise Talisman Sabre using Australia’s training ranges;
  • Australian Defence Force (ADF) participation in Japan-United States exercises Yama Sakura in November 2023 and Keen Edge in February 2024;
  • Progress under the JDSC to enhance the scope, objectives and forms of enhanced operational cooperation.

Ministers celebrated the first of its kind collaboration between the Australian Department of Defence, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on cutting-edge laser technology to enhance the ADF’s surveillance capability and survivability of defence platforms.

Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“Our growing strategic alignment contributes to shared security challenges in our region, and is key to promoting an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. This is my third visit to Japan as Deputy Prime Minister, demonstrating the importance I ascribe to the bilateral defence relationship.”

“Japan is an indispensable partner and we have achieved much in 2023, including entry into force of the Reciprocal Access Agreement, and lifting the complexity and sophistication of our operational cooperation. I look forward to progressing our shared ambition with my new counterpart Minister Kihara Minoru. “

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