1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr Fumio Kishida, the Minister of Defense of Japan, Mr Itsunori Onodera, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Julie Bishop and the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, met in Tokyo on 11 June for the 5th Japan-Australia 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations.
2. Ministers recalled the intent of leaders, announced at their 7 April summit meeting, to elevate the strategic partnership between Australia and Japan to a new special relationship based on common values and interests including democracy, human rights, the rule of law, open markets and free trade. Australia welcomed Japan’s recent efforts on its security policy from the perspective of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. Australia also supported Japan’s consideration of the issues of exercising its right to collective self-defence, participating more actively in UN PKO missions, and introducing the new principles for the transfer of defence equipment and technology.
3. Ministers confirmed the substantial conclusion of negotiations on an agreement for cooperation in the field of defence equipment and technology. Ministers also discussed preparations for joint research on marine hydrodynamics as an initial area of science and technology cooperation.
4. Ministers developed a suite of recommendations for consideration by the leaders of the two countries that would contribute to elevating the bilateral security and defence relationship to a new level, building on the 2007 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. These recommendations included options for enhancing training and exercises, increased personnel exchanges, deepening cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping, capacity building and enhanced trilateral security cooperation.
5. Japan’s Ministers welcomed Australia’s offer to host the inaugural bilateral cyber-policy dialogue in Canberra at a mutually convenient time in the second half of 2014 led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dialogue would seek to address common cyber threats and discuss ways to strengthen regional and international cooperation. They also discussed the importance of enhancing cooperation in other fields such as space security.
6. Ministers reconfirmed arrangements for Japan’s participation, through a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel, in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event in late 2014. The event will mark the centenary of the departure of the first convoy of ships, escorted by the HIJMS Ibuki that carried ANZAC forces to World War I.
7. Ministers decided that Australia and Japan would develop a strategy for strengthened cooperation in the Pacific region to support its economic development as well as peace and stability. They reaffirmed that they would focus on support to Pacific Island countries in the fields of sustainable development, security and defence capacity-building, disaster relief, and diplomatic and multilateral cooperation, in a manner that is consistent with each country’s policies. Ministers confirmed their intention to work closely together to support free and fair elections in Fiji, and to support, in consultation with the government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, peace and development in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
8. Ministers exchanged views on the regional and international security situation and reaffirmed that their respective Alliances with the United States made a significant contribution to peace and security in the region. Ministers underscored the importance of strong U.S. engagement in the region and strong support for the U.S. rebalance.
9. Ministers reaffirmed the importance of promoting the rule of law, and confirmed the importance of regional peace and stability, unimpeded trade and freedom of navigation and overflight of the high seas. The Ministers expressed their strong opposition to the use of force or coercion to unilaterally alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Emphasising the need for disputes and issues to be settled by peaceful means, they called on parties concerned to refrain from actions that could increase tensions, to clarify and pursue claims in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and for ASEAN and China to reach early agreement on an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
10. The Ministers reiterated their concern that North Korea remained a serious destabilising factor for the entire East Asia region and discussed humanitarian concerns. They urged North Korea to comply fully with its international obligations and commitments and called on North Korea to terminate its inhumane and arbitrary human rights policies and address the unresolved abductions issue.
11. The Ministers affirmed the value of multilateral coordination in response to regional crises, and noted the excellent cooperation surrounding the international response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 involving 26 countries including Malaysia and China.
12. Ministers expressed their commitment to cooperating in strengthening the strategic and political and economic roles of the East Asia Summit, and to working together in the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum.
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