Japan, Australia sign new joint security declaration

Pool photo via AP
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, front left, walks with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, front right, during a visit to Kings Park in Perth, Australia, on Saturday.

PERTH, Australia — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, signed a new joint security declaration after a summit meeting in Perth on Saturday to strengthen security cooperation between the two countries.

Albanese said in opening remarks of the two-hour summit meeting that Japan and Australia have a partnership in security and are also important energy partners.

Kishida said in his opening remarks that he intends to take the special strategic partnership between Japan and Australia to a new level.

The joint declaration is to serve as a guideline for security cooperation between Japan and Australia over the next 10 years.

Japan hopes to deepen its relationship with Australia, which it regards as a quasi-alliance, keeping in mind China’s growing hegemony in the East and South China Seas, the Pacific Ocean and other areas.

The main pillars of the joint declaration are to strengthen intergovernmental communication at all levels, including among leaders and ministers, and to promote cooperation to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” based on the rule of law.

In particular, it clearly states that both countries will consult with each other and consider response measures in the event of an emergency situation that affects the security of both countries, such as a possible contingency in Taiwan.

The agreement also includes expanded cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and the Australian Defense Force, as well as the promotion of relations in the areas of economic security, space, and cyber security.

The two countries agreed to secure a stable supply of Australian-produced liquefied natural gas and rare earths, the prices of which have continued to soar following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They also agreed to promote collaboration in the Quad, a four-nation cooperative framework involving Japan, Australia, India and the United States.