JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.58
MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

On October 16th, Defense Minister Akinori Eto held a defense ministerial meeting with Australian Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, for about 50 minutes in Tokyo. The Ministers confirmed defense policies in each country and the progress of defense cooperation between Japan and Australia, and exchanged their views on future bilateral defense cooperation. A summary of the meeting is provided below.

1. Opening

Minister Eto welcomed Minister Johnston’s visit to Japan and stated that he would like to exchange opinions in order to strengthen the Japan-Australia defense cooperation.

Minister Johnston expressed his gratitude to Minister Eto’s warm welcome and stated his hope for the further development of bilateral defense cooperation.

2. Japan-Australia Defense Policies

Minister Eto provided an explanation on the interim report on the revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation and on the Japan’s security legislation and Minister Johnston expressed his support.

Minister Johnston explained the results of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation (AUSMIN) held in August this year and the situation regarding the preparation of Australia’s Defence White Paper.

3. Japan-Australia Defense Cooperation and Exchange

The Ministers agreed to move forward with the proposals for Japan-Australia defense cooperation which are set out in the joint press release of the Japan-Australia Summit Meeting held in July this year, and to continue studying ways to strengthen future bilateral and trilateral joint exercises involving Japan, Australia, and the U.S.

The Ministers agreed to examine multifaceted cooperation in the area of equipment and technology cooperation including the following:

  • Exploring potential opportunities for collaboration on the F-35 Program
  • Acquisition reform dialogue with the Defence Material Organisation of Australia
  • At the request from Minister Johnston to Minister Eto, building upon previous discussions, exploration of the possibility of Japanese cooperation in Australian Future Submarine Program
  • Defense technology exchanges with the Defence Science Technology Organisation of Australia (both marine hydrodynamics field and exchanges between engineers and scientists)
  • Talks between defense industries

The Ministers agreed to continue coordination in the field of international peace cooperation activities and capacity building assistance.

In addition, the Ministers shared their views on regional situation over a dinner meeting.

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

The 6th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum

The 6th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum

On October 7th, “The 6th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum,” chaired by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi, Vice-Minister of Defense of Japan for International Affairs was held in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Participants included senior defense officials and representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

On the topics of “To Promote Maritime Defense Cooperation” and “Possible Maritime Cooperation–From Perspective of Equipment and Technology Cooperation and Capacity Building,” the participants had candid and constructive discussions about prospects of defense cooperation between Japan and ASEAN at sea.

The 6th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum

Through the two sessions, the participants recognized further possibilities of maritime defense cooperation while sharing the view that Japan and ASEAN need to pursue equipment and technology cooperation and capacity building assistance as well as some new areas of cooperation such as ACSA.

In closing remarks, the chair of the forum expressed his appreciation for the participants offering a number of concrete ideas and proposals about future cooperation among defense authorities of Japan and ASEAN. The participants voiced their expectations for the Japan-ASEAN Vice-Ministerial Forum to continue on in the years to come.

Interim Report on the Revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation

On October 8th, the Subcommittee for Defense Cooperation (SDC) was held in Tokyo. From Japan, Mr. Tetsuro Kuroe, Director General of Defense Policy Bureau, MOD, Mr. Koji Tomita, Director General of North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA, and other officials attended the SDC. The U.S. participants included Ambassador David Shear, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Mr. Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.

At the SDC meeting, they discussed the revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation and released the review’s interim report.

Interim Report on the Revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation

The interim report summarizes the work which has been conducted based on the agreement reached at the “2+2” meeting in October 2013. Main points of the report are described as follows:

  • To improve the Alliance coordination framework in order to ensure seamless and effective whole-of-government Alliance coordination to address any situation that affects the peace and security of Japan;
  • To secure the peace and security of Japan by taking measures to prevent the deterioration of Japan’s security in all phases, from peacetime to contingencies;
  • To enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas to generate a more peaceful and stable international security environment; and
  • To develop cooperation in space and cyberspace as new strategic domain.

The MOD will continue to vigorously work on the revision of the Guidelines.

Interim Report on the Revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
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