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Memorandum on Defence Cooperation between Ministry of Defense, Japan and Department of Defence, Australia

This Memorandum is between the Ministry of Defense, Japan (MOD) and the Department of Defence, Australia (ADOD) (hereinafter referred to as both defence authorities).

Both defence authorities,

recognise that the strategic partnership between Japan and Australia, based on shared security interests; friendship founded in trust and mutual respect; and a strong commitment to democracy and freedom, will continue as the basis of the excellent bilateral defence relations;

acknowledge the mutual benefits inherent in continuing their cooperation and exchange in the field of defence;

recognise that the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation of 13 March 2007 and the Memorandum on Defence Exchange between Japan Defense Agency and Department of Defence Australia, which was signed on 29 September 2003, facilitate the conduct of defence cooperation activities;

seek to deepen bilateral cooperation in international peace cooperation activities, following the stipulation of international peace cooperation activities as a primary mission of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the past achievements of defence cooperation;

hereby express the following:

1. Both defence authorities share the intention to conduct the following joint defence activities.

(a) High Level Exchange

(i) Hold annual bilateral Defence Ministerial meeting.
(ii) Hold regular visits between the Vice-Minister of Defense of the MOD and the Secretary of the ADOD; between the Chief of Staff, Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Chief of the Defence Force of the Australian Defence Force (ADF); and between the Chiefs of Staff of the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces and their respective ADF counterparts.

(b) Working Level Exchange

(i) Hold regular military-to-military consultations on security and defence matters at the director-general or deputy director-general level.
(ii) Hold regular strategic policy discussions.
(iii) Hold regular staff talks between the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the ADF's Headquarters Australian Joint Operations Command.
(iv) Hold regular staff talks between the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) and the Australian Army (AA).
(v) Hold regular staff talks between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
(vi) Hold regular staff talks between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
(vii) Hold staff talks on relevant subject matters between any combination of the GSDF, MSDF, ASDF and the AA, RAN and RAAF as required.
(viii) Hold working level international peace cooperation activities dialogue on the occasion of the above exchanges for practical defence cooperation in such areas.

(c) Unit-to-Unit Exchange

(i) Participate, including as observers, in bilateral and multilateral exercises.
(ii) Implement unit-to-unit exchanges between the GSDF and the AA.
(iii) Expand and enhance regular mutual maritime patrol aircraft exchanges between the MSDF and the RAN, RAAF including exercises and exchange programs.
(iv) Expand and enhance exercises and exchange programs whenever occasion permits such as during regular mutual aircraft visits by the ASDF and the RAAF.
(v) Expand and enhance exercises and exchange programs whenever occasion permits such as during regular mutual ship visits, including but not limited to training ships, by the MSDF and the RAN.
(vi) Implement unit-to-unit exchanges between any combinations of the GSDF, MSDF, ASDF and the AA, RAN and RAAF.

(d) Education and Research Exchange

(i) Exchanges of students between educational institutions of both defence authorities.
(ii) Exchanges of representatives between educational and research institutions of both defence authorities.

(e) Information Exchange

(i) Exchange strategic assessments and related information in areas of mutual interest.

(f) Technical Exchange

(i) Seek cooperation and collaboration in the area of defence science and technology, which may include the sharing of information and expertise in areas of mutual interest.

(g) Cooperation in international peace cooperation activities

(i) Promote cooperation in international peace cooperation activities. International peace cooperation activities will be defined by each country's regulations and include, but not be limited to, the following areas:

  • ・International peace cooperation operations such as United Nations peacekeeping operations.
  • ・International disaster relief activities.
  • ・The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
  • ・Activities to respond to international terrorism.

(ii) Conduct the following to promote cooperation in international peace cooperation activities:

  • ・Share inventories of regional disaster relief assets and capabilities of each defence authority's armed forces.
  • ・Participate in exercises conducted within multilateral frameworks such as the ASEAN Regional Forum.

(iii) Undertake studies on measures to promote smooth cooperation in the area of logistics cooperation.

(h) Multilateral Cooperation

(i) Strengthen defence cooperation within the trilateral framework among Japan, Australia and the United States.
(ii) Strengthen cooperation in multilateral frameworks such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and participate in multilateral consultations and seminars held by both defence authorities (including the Tokyo Defense Forum organised by the MOD and the International Peace Operations Seminar organised by the ADOD).

(i) Other Activities

(i) Active participation in training courses and seminars offered by both defence authorities.
(ii) Short-term exchanges of MOD and ADOD personnel to promote greater mutual understanding and friendship.
(iii) Visit by the MSDF Icebreaker "Shirase" to Australian ports.

2. Both defence authorities will work to coordinate and link the exchanges mentioned in 1. in order to harmonise efforts and create more effective and efficient exchanges leading to greater opportunities for defence cooperation.

3. Both defence authorities will develop an annual calendar of defence exchanges to assist with planning for practical initiatives, and will monitor the progress of practical cooperation listed in the annual calendar through the working level exchanges listed in 1.(b) of this Memorandum including through regular military-to-military consultations.

4. Cooperation measures between both defence authorities are not limited to those listed above. Both defence authorities may consider and perform such other areas of defence cooperation as they mutually determine in the future.

5. International Policy Divisions will act as the Points of Contact for their defence authorities under this Memorandum, to ensure the steady progress of the above mentioned activities and coordinate matters of policy associated with the Memorandum.

6. Both defence authorities express their intention to ensure that any information which includes any knowledge and medium in which it is contained, acquired in the processes of their defence cooperation is administered appropriately, in line with their respective laws and fully taking into account the requests from the other side. The information, when designated, will not be released to any person, body or government other than the Governments of both defence authorities without the prior written consent of the providing defence authority.

7. Both defence authorities recognise that this Memorandum does not give rise to legally binding rights or obligations and the above mentioned activities are conducted within the legal and budgetary constraints of each country.

8. Both defence authorities may review this Memorandum at any time and amend it by mutual consent in writing.

9. This Memorandum supersedes the 2003 Memorandum on the date it is signed by both Defence Ministers.

Signed at Tokyo on 18 December 2008 in duplicate in the English and Japanese languages, both texts having equal validity.

Yasukazu Hamada           Joel Fitzgibbon
Minister of Defense          Minister for Defence
Japan                   The Commonwealth of Australia