Japan-Australia Summit Meeting
On Tuesday, November 17, Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide and the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, held summit meetings in Japan. The leaders first had a one-on-one meeting, followed by a main meeting. After that, the leaders signed the Joint Statement of their intent to further strengthen their cooperative relationship in fields including security and defence cooperation and the economy. Later, Prime Minister Suga hosted a working dinner. The summary of the meetings is as follows.
At first, the leaders met one-on-one, with interpreters, where, in a friendly atmosphere, they discussed their background, personal views and their approach to politics.
At the main meeting, the leaders discussed strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation on international issues.
The leaders affirmed that Japan and Australia, as “Special Strategic Partners” which share the basic values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law and strategic interests, will together work toward realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
The leaders announced agreement in principle on the Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement (Japan-Australia RAA), which is being negotiated to take security and defence cooperation between Japan and Australia to a new level. The leaders concurred to accelerate the remaining tasks necessary for an early signing of the Japan-Australia RAA.
In addition, the leaders instructed their respective Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defence, with a view to elevating security and defence cooperation between Japan and Australia, to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in this area, through the Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations (“2+2”) and other mechanisms.
The leaders also concurred to strengthen cooperation on economic security in areas such as telecommunications and critical minerals.
The leaders concurred to continue to work together on reforms at the World Trade Organization, including reforms to the Appellate Body, electronic-commerce rule-making, and the issues of “developing countries.” They also welcomed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and, through close coordination between Japan and Australia, decided to play a leading role in realizing its early entry into force. The leaders also confirmed that they will continue to cooperate toward the steady implementation and expansion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The two leaders concurred to promote cooperation in the economic field, including on hydrogen-related efforts.
At the working dinner after the formal meeting, the leaders exchanged views on the regional situation.
The leaders welcomed the United States’ continued commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and stressed the importance of close cooperation with the United States to contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
On North Korea, the leaders concurred to work together on the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, including measures against ship-to-ship transfers. Prime Minister Morrison gave his continued full support for Japan’s efforts on the abductions issue.
In addition, the leaders exchanged views on the South China Sea, East China Sea, Southeast Asia and other topics.