Developments in regional and international security and ways to deepen bilateral defence and security cooperation will be the focus of the fifth Australia-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial (2+2) Consultations this week.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston will travel to Tokyo to meet their counterparts and build on Prime Minister Abbott’s recent successful visit to Japan where leaders agreed to elevate the strategic partnership.

Australia and Japan share strategic interests in regional peace and stability, underpinned by common democratic values and a commitment to the rule of law.

Ministers are expected to agree on the substantive conclusion to negotiations on a Defence Science, Technology and Materiel Agreement, announced during Prime Minister Abbott’s visit. The Agreement will allow Australia and Japan to jointly develop defence technologies, establishing a basis to deepen defence cooperation.

On 12-13 June, Minister Bishop will meet Foreign Minister Kishida and other senior Japanese ministers, Diet members and academics to discuss international and bilateral developments and Australia’s signature foreign policy initiative, the New Colombo Plan.  She will meet Gender Diversity Minister Mori to discuss Japan’s policies to promote the empowerment of women.  Minister Bishop will also visit the Kansai region, meeting senior business leaders to promote the tangible benefits of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

Minister Johnston will also meet Japanese Defence Minister Onodera separately to discuss progress in bilateral defence engagement in areas including logistics cooperation, exercises and training, and peacekeeping and disaster relief responses.

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