Opening remarks, Australia-Japan Defence Ministers’ Meeting

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

Release content

19 October 2023

SUBJECTS: Australia-Japan relationship.

KIHARA MINORU, JAPAN MINISTER OF DEFENSE: Minister Marles, it is an honour to meet you. I have been looking forward to host you in Tokyo and to hold a lively discussion with you. I've already spoken with you earlier today, just a moment ago, and I wish to call you Richard, and please call me Minoru.

I actually served as a Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense for about a year back in 2013. And back then the Japan and Australia ACSA, and Security of Information Arrangement just came into effect. And it was around that time we began negotiations for the RAA, it was about nine years ago – about a decade ago. And it was very moving for me just this August that this RAA came into effect thanks to the tireless efforts of all those involved.

And as Japan and Australia perfectly shares our values and strategic objectives, we are witnessing a growth of our defence cooperation in various fields; from strategic collaboration, joint exercises and operational cooperation, IAMD, space and cyber and equipment and technology and beyond.

And coming up next in our objective would be to improve our substantive cooperation to ensure that Japan and Australia will be ready to work together in emergencies arising in the region. And I'm committed to work hard alongside Richard so we can further extend our defence cooperation.

RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Minoru, it is really good to be here, so thank you very much for having me and my delegation. Likewise, I've been very much looking forward to having the opportunity of meeting you, getting to know you and I'm really looking forward to working with you.

I've been in my role for 17 months and in that time, what's become completely clear to me is that there is no country in the world with whom we have a greater strategic alignment than Japan.

We're both allies of the United States, we both have a complex relationship with our largest trading partner, China and we have a deep relationship with each other over a long period of time here in the east Asian time zone. And when we think about Australia's future National Security, completely central to that is the very best relationship that we can have with Japan. It is foundational for us, which is why this is the third time I've been here in that period of time as the Deputy Prime Minister.

I agree with you that the Reciprocal Access Agreement is very central to the advancement of our relationship and it's a very significant matter that it has now come into effect.

We’ve seen Japanese F-35s come to Australia. We've seen Australian F-35s fly with Japanese F-35s coming back here. So we're actually watching the Reciprocal Access Agreement being put into place and that is very exciting.

We will work very closely together in ensuring that our systems, as they get to know each other better, work more smoothly together and that's a challenge for both of us, but it's a very good challenge because it speaks to the evolution of our relationship. And from an Australian point of view we really see that in Japan we see our future security in the region and in the world

Other related releases