Extra Press Conference by Defense Minister Iwaya

Time & Date:
13:04-13:08 June 1, 2019
Place:
Valley Wing Level 7, Shangri-La Hotel

(This is a provisional translation of an announcement by the Defense Minister and the Q&A session at the subsequent press conference purposes only.)
The original text is in Japanese.

1. Announcements

 I have just held a meeting with Australian Defense Minister Reynolds. We have just discussed bilateral defense cooperation and regional affairs. I congratulated Minister Reynolds, who has just been appointed to the post, and stated that we would like to strengthen Japan-Australia defense cooperation in close cooperation, as with the previous Minister. We also exchanged views on the challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region. With regard to North Korea, we have already received cooperation from Australia on the importance of efforts to ensure the effectiveness of sanctions against North Korea based on the UN Security Council resolutions, and we agreed to continue to cooperate closely. On that basis, I said that in order to maintain and strengthen the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" cooperation between Japan and Australia is even more important, and that we will continue to make efforts to expand this cooperation. I intend to steadily advance defense cooperation with Australia as a strategic partner.

2. Questions and Answers

Question:
As you mentioned at the beginning, this is your first meeting with Minister Reynolds. I would like to ask once again if there has been any progress on the outcomes of the meeting and the Japan-Australia Facilitation Agreement.

Minister:
Former Minister Pine visited Japan and I also visited Australia, and we have built a very good relationship. It was meaningful to meet and exchange opinions with the new Minister Reynolds this time. This year is the year when the "Japan Australia 2 + 2" will be held in Japan, and through such an opportunity, I hope to strengthen my relationship with Minister Reynolds. With the cooperation of the former Minister, the Facilitation Agreement went to a pretty good point. Unfortunately, there are gaps that cannot be crossed between the two countries, and no agreement has been reached yet, but this was also discussed. We have agreed that we will continue our efforts to negotiate a smooth agreement patiently toward its conclusion.