Australia and Japan have signed an agreement that facilitates closer bilateral defence logistics support and cooperation during activities such as combined exercises, training and peacekeeping operations.
The agreement is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017, Australian Department of Defense announced last saturday.
Australia-Japan Acquisition and Cross‑Servicing Agreement (ACSA) was signed by both the nations last week. Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan were present at the signing ceremony.
“I am delighted that the Acquisition and Cross‑Servicing Agreement was signed during Mr Abe’s visit,” Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said. “The ACSA further enhances our militaries’ interoperability and brings our defence logistics cooperation fully into line with Japan’s landmark 2015 Legislation for Peace and Security,” she said.
“We have enhanced training and exercises, increased personnel exchanges and deepened cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping and capacity building,” Minister Payne said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney on Saturday where the pair agreed to deepen defense ties and stressed the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Abe's visit follows amid raising regional tension in the South China Sea and fear that US President-elect Donald Trump will push ahead with his pledge to kill the trade agreement once he takes office on Jan. 20.
Japan, as well as Australia, is looking to protect its strategic and trade interests in the Asia-Pacific region, especially as China becomes increasingly assertive in the South and East China Seas.
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Japan will be competing with US and European countries for the New Zealands patrol and transport aircraft contracts. Representatives from Japan's defense ministry and Kawasaki Heavy are in New Zealand for negotiations
Amid escalating tension with China and North Korea, the Japanese government on Thursday announced increase in defence budget for fiscal 2017 starting April 1, that covers a new amphibious force and a new sea-based ballistic missile interceptor system. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abes cabinet approved ¥5
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