The leaders of Japan and Australia signed a “landmark” defence agreement that allows closer cooperation between their militaries and stands as a rebuke to China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met in a virtual summit to sign the Reciprocal Access Agreement, the first such defence pact signed by Japan with any country other than the United States.
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About the agreements:
- The agreement follows more than a year of talks between Japan and Australia aimed at breaking down legal barriers to allow the troops of one country to enter the other for training and other purposes.
- Morrison called the pact a “pivotal moment for Australia and Japan and (for) the security of our two nations and our people.”
- The pact builds on the strategic dialogue known as “the Quad,” which includes Japan, Australia, the United States and India. Australia last year also signed the Aukus agreement with the United States and Britain, both of which have pledged to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.