Tokyo / Canberra – Japan and Australia will be signing an extensive defence and security cooperation treaty to stop China’s increasingly aggressive and hegemonic actions Information was provided by both the countries that it will be signed at a virtual meet on Thursday. This is the second defence agreement between the two countries in the last seven months. Earlier in June, the two countries’ air forces signed an interoperability deal. This growing cooperation between Japan and Australia is a message given to China, a former Australian defence official has claimed.
Moreover, the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, will sign the Reciprocal Access Agreement on Thursday. As per this agreement, the Japanese and Australian Defense Forces will use each other’s defence bases. The number and the scope of bilateral defence exercises between the two countries will be increased. It will be possible to deploy Japanese warships and fighter jets in the Australian region and Australian warships and fighter jets in the Japanese region.
The new agreement between Japan and Australia proves to be gaining attention against the background of increasing Chinese actions in the Indo-Pacific region. Australian PM Morrison underlined the significance of the agreement, saying, ‘This treaty will be a statement of our two nations’ commitment to work together in meeting the shared strategic security challenges we face and to contribute to a secure and stable Indo-Pacific.’
Japan and Australia are both recognised as China’s leading trading partners. Japan and Australia are involved in the RCEP trade agreement made a few days ago, which is an initiative of China. However, the two countries have consistently taken an aggressive stance by raising their voices against China’s ongoing actions in the past few years. Both countries are participating in Quad erected by the US initiative, and the Two-Plus-Two dialogue has also begun. A few days ago, Japan was involved in a comprehensive defence exercise held near Australia.
After World War II, which occurred in the last century, the United States had signed a comprehensive defence cooperation agreement with Japan. Accordingly, the US has taken responsibility for Japan’s defence. Despite that, Japan is unwilling to take any risks in the case of China, and the defence agreement with Australia is a clear indication of that.