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NO.12
 
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MEETINGS WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Courtesy Call by Chinese Admiral Wu

Admiral Wu and Defense Minister Hamada
Admiral Wu and Defense Minister Hamada
Admiral Wu Shengli, Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Commander, paid a courtesy call on Defense Minister Hamada on October 29. This was the first visit by a Chinese Navy Commander to Japan. Admiral Wu described the visit as a historic one and noted that ties between Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Chinese Navy have developed rapidly over the past year under the shared recognition of building a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests," citing the mutual visits by naval vessels in 2007 and 2008.
    Quoting from Zhou Enlai, Admiral Wu noted that while there had been 50 years of conflict between Japan and China, the two countries also boast 2,000 years of friendship, and that bilateral issues can be resolved by looking toward the future based on such history.
    Defense Minister Hamada replied that it was important to constructively advance the bilateral relationship while taking a serious look at history.
    The two also exchanged views on cooperation in disaster relief activities among others.
 

Japan-Australia Joint Defense and Foreign Ministerial Consultations

Joint news conference of the Japan-Australia Two-plus-Two Meeting
Joint news conference of the Japan-Australia Two-plus-Two Meeting

The Japan-Australia Joint Defense and Foreign Ministerial Consultations (The Two-plus-Two Meeting) were held on December 18 in Tokyo. This was the second meeting following the first one held in June 2007. The purpose of the consultations is to further strengthen security cooperation between the two countries.
    Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone attended from Japan, while Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith attended from the Australian side. The ministers concurred on further strengthening the bilateral security cooperation and discussed the promoting of trilateral cooperation among Japan, Australia, and the United States ; information sharing; and the regional situation in East Asia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
    The joint statement issued after the meeting, in the defense area, noted that it welcomed the updating of the Memorandum on Defence Cooperation; acceleration of the studies of logistics cooperation; confirmation of continuing commitment to enhanced defense cooperation; and enhanced trilateral security and defense cooperation with the United States.
    It was also confirmed that Australia will host the next The Two-plus-Two Meeting in 2009.

Japan-Australia Joint Defense and Foreign Ministerial Consultations Japan-Australia Joint Defense and Foreign Ministerial Consultations

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Prior to The Two-plus-Two Meeting, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada had a meeting with Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon at the Ministry of Defense.
    The two ministers actively discussed defense policies and defense exchanges of the two countries. After the meeting, they signed the updated Memorandum on Defence Cooperation.
    The main points of the updated memorandum are (1) promoting cooperation in international peace cooperation activities, (2) strengthening cooperation and coordination during peacetime, such as strategic dialogue and exercises, and (3) strengthening trilateral cooperation with the United States and multilateral cooperation.
    The two ministers shared the recognition to develop the bilateral relationship for practical cooperation in the future.

Defense Minister Fitzgibbon and Defense Minister Hamada
Defense Minister Fitzgibbon and Defense Minister Hamada
The signing of the updated Memorandum on Defense Cooperation
The signing of the updated Memorandum on Defense Cooperation