Australia, Japan to sign ‘historic’ defense, security pact

SYDNEY (AP) – Australia and Japan will sign a treaty on Thursday to increase defense and security cooperation, a move that has been hailed as “historic” but could anger China.

Australian Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Fumio Kishida of Japan will meet at a virtual summit to sign the agreement, which Morrison said “will support a larger and more complex practical engagement between the Australian Defense Force and the Australian Defense Force. ‘Japanese self-defense’.

“Australia and Japan are the closest friends,” Morrison added. “Our special strategic partnership is stronger than ever, reflecting our common values, our commitment to democracy and human rights and our common interests in a free, open Indo-Pacific region. and resilient. “

In September, Australia signed the so-called Aukus Trilateral Security Pact with the United States and Britain under which the two countries pledged to help Australia acquire submarines to nuclear propulsion.

The deal shocked China, which said Aukus “seriously undermines regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race and undermines international non-proliferation efforts.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Morrison called the latest treaty with Japan historic and said “it will provide, for the first time, a clear framework for enhanced interoperability and cooperation between our two forces.”

“This treaty will be a declaration of the commitment of our two nations to work together to address the common strategic security challenges we face and to contribute to a secure and stable Indo-Pacific,” Morrison said.

The United States and Australia, as well as India and Japan, are also members of a strategic dialogue known as the “Quad”, and Morrison said on Wednesday that Australia would also contribute to “a program expanding ‘for that.

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