11 November 2018
Australia and Japan are expected to reach agreement on a deal to facilitate larger and more regular joint military exercises, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Darwin later this week, as China increases its influence in the region.
Japan and Australia first started negotiating a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) – which will streamline administrative and legal procedures for Australian and Japanese forces moving in and out of either country with equipment for military exercises – in 2014.
Bhubhindar Singh, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said the RAA would cement Australia’s position as Japan’s “second most important strategic partner.”
Along with the revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between Japan, Australia, India and the US and new strategic focus by both countries on the Indo-Pacific region, he said it “underscores a very important partnership”.
“This would be a very important agreement and show how far they have come from the 2016 setback when Japan missed out on the Australian submarine deal,” he said.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 12/11/2018