This month, the Ministry of Defense of Japan and the Department of Defence of Australia have decided to commence enhanced peacekeeping cooperation between Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) personnel and Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in support of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). This builds on a history of operational cooperation, including most recently in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
The JSDF and the ADF will work together mainly in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan. Two ADF personnel will be deployed to provide the JSDF with information related to the implementation of the mandate of UNMISS, and to provide liaison services to assist communication and coordination with relevant bodies including UN agencies. The JSDF and the ADF will work together on projects focusing on developing critical infrastructure in the Republic of South Sudan. This cooperation represents the first time that both countries will engage in an operation jointly at such a close level, and is a symbolic example of the enhanced bilateral cooperation in the field of defence in recent years. It is expected that the cooperation will contribute to providing valuable assistance for the people in the Republic of South Sudan in their endeavour to build their own nation after years of conflict.
Mr Satoshi Morimoto, Minister of Defense of Japan, and Mr Stephen Smith, Minister for Defence of Australia, are committed to contributing to African development. This cooperation shows the commitment by the two Governments to support United Nations (UN) activities towards a future where African people can live in peace and prosperity. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to supporting the UN’s nation-building efforts in the Republic of South Sudan.
The Ministers shared the recognition that the cooperation in the Republic of South Sudan will enhance interoperability between the JSDF and the ADF and serve to strengthen our ability to jointly contribute to the peace and stability of the world, especially in Asia-Pacific region.
The Ministers are looking forward to the next Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultation (“2+2”), where further opportunities to advance the bilateral cooperation in the field of security and defence will be discussed.