4 June 2023
On 4 June 2023 the Hon. Richard Marles MP, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Australia, and H.E. Mr. Hamada Yasukazu, Minister of Defense, Japan, met during the 20th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
The Ministers affirmed the importance of the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation (JDSC) signed by leaders in October 2022 as the compass for our enhanced defence cooperation. They welcomed close strategic alignment evident in Japan’s National Defense Strategy and Australia’s Defence Strategic Review. This alignment reflected shared values and an unwavering commitment to uphold the rules-based international order. The Ministers agreed to support the implementation of each other’s significant defence reforms and to deepen collaboration on shared priorities, including with Indo-Pacific partners.
The Ministers exchanged views on the regional security environment and reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive, resilient and based on the rule of law. They reaffirmed their unwavering support for ASEAN centrality and unity and their commitment to promoting cooperation in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
The Ministers looked forward to the imminent entry into force of the Australia-Japan Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) as enabling a step change in the defence partnership. They welcomed progress under the JDSC to enhance the scope, objectives and forms of Japan and Australia’s enhanced operational cooperation. They agreed the JDSC and RAA would transform defence cooperation and enhance interoperability now and into the future.
The Ministers noted the progress on the ambitious bilateral agenda since the 9 December 2022 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations, in particular the successful expansion of air-to-air refuelling pairings between the Japan Air Self Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, cyber collaboration under NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence exercise Locked Shields in April, and enhanced cooperation on strategic capabilities, including long-range guided weapons, Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) and Under Sea Warfare (USW).
The Ministers noted the importance of maintaining a technological edge and committed to working ever closer in defence science and technology. They welcomed the signing of the bilateral Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Arrangement as an enduring framework to streamline and elevate cooperation.
The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of increasing trilateral training with the United States. They welcomed the upcoming trilateral exercise program, with Exercise Southern Jackaroo in June, and Australia’s inaugural participation in Japan-United States Exercise Yama Sakura in November. They noted they had together met U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III at the Shangri-La Dialogue for the twelfth Trilateral Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
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Joint statement on Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2023