Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison are likely to sign a Defence agreement on Tuesday in a bid to counter China
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison are likely to sign a Defence agreement on Tuesday, November 17 in a bid to counter China’s growing influence in the South China Sea and over the Pacific island nations.
According to South China Morning Post reports, Morrison’s arrival in Japan on Tuesday where security experts expect him to wind up a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) with Suga to establish a legal framework for their troops to visit and conduct joint military operations and training.
A Japanese foreign ministry official, at a media briefing, said there will be something to announce from the meeting, without clarifying further. According to reports, the defence deal has taken six years to negotiate and would need to be confirmed by lawmakers of both countries.
Japan and Australia are seeking closer ties amid growing concerns about Chinese activity in the region. The Chinese activities in the region include manoeuvres around disputed islands in the East China Sea, militarisation in the South China Sea, and China’s growing power over Pacific island nations further east.
Japan looks to deepen US ties
Earlier on Monday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said that Japan hopes to deepen its alliance with the United States under President-elect Joe Biden and do more to get its associate continuously committed to regional security and other key international issues.
Motegi, discussing Japanese diplomacy at the Japan National Press Club, said his country hopes to pursue cooperation with the Biden administration to achieve the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ or FOIP, the vision of economic and security cooperation in the face of China’s growing assertiveness.
“With the US increasingly focusing on how to rebuild its social divide and economy, Japan will have to take more of a share of the Japan-US security alliance”, Motegi said. He further said Japan must also continue to work to counter China’s growing maritime presence in the East and South China seas.