4th Australia-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations

Australia and Japan – Cooperating for peace and stability

Media release

14 September 2012

Common Vision and Objectives

1. The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, the Australian Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E Mr Koichiro Gemba, and the Minister of Defense of Japan, H.E Mr Satoshi Morimoto, met in Sydney on 14 September to discuss regional and global security issues and ways to advance security and defence cooperation between Australia and Japan.

2. Australia and Japan are natural strategic partners sharing common values and interests, including a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, protection of human rights and open markets.

3. Australia and Japan share a common strategic objective of ensuring long-term peace, stability and prosperity in the changing strategic and security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

4. To help achieve that objective, Australia and Japan are committed to working even more closely on security and defence matters in the following ways:

Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific

5. Deepening exchanges and working together to strengthen regional cooperation on issues that have the potential to undermine the stability of the region.

6. Ensuring mutual support for our respective alliances with the United States, which continue to help underwrite peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, and working together as active partners to maintain and strengthen comprehensive US engagement in the region.

7. Enhancing trilateral policy coordination and practical cooperation among Australia, Japan and the United States on a range of regional and global issues through the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue.

8. Continuing to build positive, comprehensive relationships with China, in support of China's responsible and constructive participation in the international rules-based order and role in promoting regional prosperity and stability while encouraging improved openness and transparency with respect to China's military modernization and activities.

9. Strengthening mutually beneficial relationships and cooperation on security issues with other countries in the region, including India, the Republic of Korea and ASEAN countries.

10. Working with parties concerned to achieve long-term peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, including through strongly urging the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to fully comply with the relevant UNSC Resolutions and its commitments under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, and to resolve humanitarian concerns in the DPRK, such as the abductions issue.

11. Strengthening regional architecture, particularly the East Asia Summit, to promote cooperation on political, security, economic and other challenges facing the region.

12. Welcoming the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus and supporting cooperation and practical activities in the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus.

13. Promoting regional adherence to norms of maritime security and safety, including freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and the rules-based peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea and beyond in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

14. Advancing cooperation on development issues, including by assisting developing countries in the region to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and by supporting the establishment of the UN's post 2015 development agenda.

15. Strengthening joint efforts in support of sustainable development in the Pacific, including through the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM), and in accordance with the PIF Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific and other internationally recognised principles on aid effectiveness, by:

  1. encouraging and supporting democracy, economic reform and good governance;
  2. improving health, education and infrastructure;
  3. promoting environmental and resource sustainability, including in fisheries;
  4. enhancing maritime surveillance; and
  5. adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

16. Deepening exchanges and cooperation on the impacts of climate change and food, water and energy security.

Cooperation on international security issues

17. Deepening cooperation in global and regional fora, including the United Nations, to address international security concerns.

18. Pursuing regional and global action to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, including through cooperation in the Proliferation Security Initiative and supporting Japan's role as chair of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation in 2013-2014; and to uphold the international legal frameworks of non-proliferation and disarmament.

19. Working to achieve the resolution of legitimate international concerns about Iran's nuclear activities. Working to enhance regional and global focus on the control of and trade in WMD-related goods based on the relevant international norms and obligations.

20. Working with partners in the Australia-Japan established Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative to give practical effect to consensus outcomes agreed within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) framework.

21. Preparing regionally for the 2015 NPT Review Conference through Australia, Japan and the Philippines' 2012-2014 co-chairing term of the ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Non-proliferation and Disarmament.

22. Continuing cooperation bilaterally and amongst the Co-author's Group on international efforts to agree, as soon as possible, an Arms Trade Treaty to regulate international trade in conventional arms.

23. Strengthening bilateral and regional cooperation on disaster management, including through improved coordination in the civil and military areas, and on disaster preparedness and response. Working proactively to realise tangible outcomes at the third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction, which Japan has expressed its intention to host.

24. Exploring opportunities for information exchange, sharing of expertise and joint exercising between Australian and Japanese agencies responsible for disaster preparedness and response.

25. Working together to confront increasing threats in cyberspace by shaping international and regional dialogue on cyber issues, including on the development of international frameworks for cooperation.

26. Strengthening cooperation on space-security issues, bilaterally, trilaterally with the United States and with other parties, particularly on the development of international norms and confidence-building measures for space. Working together to take forward the proposed International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. Engaging the region more on space issues, including in the ASEAN Regional Forum.

27. Enhancing cooperation on counter-terrorism through strengthened collaboration in the United Nations, the Global Counterterrorism Forum and regional fora, and with other partners, including the United States through the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue.

28. Enhancing cooperation towards the early realisation of United Nations Security Council reform, including Japan's permanent membership.

29. Cooperating to support stability and sustainable development in Afghanistan.

Bilateral defence cooperation

30. Strengthening practical bilateral defence cooperation to enable the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and both defence ministries to work closely, effectively and at short notice in order to address regional and broader international security and defence requirements.

31. Strengthening interoperability between the two countries' defence organisations, to enable Australia and Japan to conduct operations together in the fields of maritime security, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and evacuation operations.

32. Maintaining an action plan that promotes an effective and flexible bilateral defence relationship with a forward five year focus.

33. Conducting regular air, land, and maritime exercises and engagement to boost interoperability and increase the skills and capabilities of both defence organisations.

34. Deepening bilateral information exchanges at the strategic, operational and tactical levels in support of interoperability.

35. Expanding people-to-people links and exchanges, including exchanges of strategy, policy and science personnel.

36. Deepening Australia-Japan science and technology cooperation in the field of defence, noting Japan's 2011 Guidelines for Overseas Transfer of Defense Equipment.

37. Initiating information exchanges in defence science and technology fields of mutual interest.

38. Deepening the relationship and linkages between the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) of Australia and the Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) of Japan.

39. Examining opportunities for defence capacity building cooperation in South East Asia and the Pacific.

40. Through early activation of the Australia-Japan Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement deepening Australia-Japan cooperation, including the conduct of exercises, operations and other practical exchanges.

41. Building on the cooperation between ADF and JSDF in the Republic of South Sudan, explore further opportunities to work jointly to contribute to international peace building efforts.

42. Reviewing existing bilateral cooperation frameworks to ensure they meet the needs of the expanding Australia-Japan relationship and developing additional arrangements if necessary.

Trilateral defence cooperation

43. Strengthening trilateral defence cooperation with the United States.

44. Strengthening interoperability amongst the defence organisations of all three countries.

45. Focusing on robust, regular and practical cooperation among Australia, Japan and the United States through the Trilateral Defence Ministers' Meeting, the Trilateral Security and Defence Cooperation Forum (SDCF) and trilateral service-specific talks.

46. Developing and implementing an action plan that promotes a strong, dynamic and flexible trilateral defence relationship over the remainder of the decade.

47. Conducting trilateral exercises with a focus on improving each country's ability to enhance maritime security through air, land and maritime cooperation.

48. Conducting observer exchanges to respective exercises with the United States.

Consultation and information exchange

49. Consolidating further the Australia-Japan foreign and defence ministers 2+2 meeting as the key bilateral mechanism with oversight of the security and defence relationship.

50. Establishing a 2+2 senior-officials mechanism, supported by a working-level consultation process, to enhance bilateral consultation and coordination and maintaining the existing regular political-military, military-military, and service-to-service talks.

51. Building on the signing of the Information Security Agreement between Australia and Japan, including by considering practical ways to facilitate sharing of information and strengthening cooperative endeavors in this area.

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