Defence Minister Robert Hill and the Japanese Minister of State for Defense, Shigeru Ishiba, today signed a memorandum on Defence Exchange between the Japan Defence Agency and the Australian Department of Defence.
The memorandum recognizes Australia and Japan’s common strategic interests in the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
It affirms both countries’ commitment to strengthening high level exchanges, strategic dialogue and senior visits, as well as a range of working level contacts, staff college exchanges and regular ship and aircraft visits.
The memorandum also commits both defense authorities to explore new areas of cooperation for promoting and deepening the defense relationship. This could include, for example, counter-terrorism cooperation, participation in exercises, student exchanges and measures to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Senator Hill said Japan and Australia shared a strong commitment to the war against terrorism and to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
“Japan and Australia also have a strong tradition of peacekeeping cooperation, firstly in Cambodia a decade ago and now in East Timor,” Senator Hill said.
“This memorandum signals the strength of the existing bilateral defense and security relationship. It also demonstrates the increasing emphasis that Australia and Japan are placing on security cooperation