Australia and Japan have established good bilateral relationships based on mutually complementary economic relations. In recent years, the two countries have also strengthened political and security cooperation, which has made them strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific region. As both countries are allies with the US in the Asia-Pacific region, the two countries have promoted trilateral relations. The two countries have strongly cooperated to tackle global and regional issues, such as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The two countries have also promoted people-to-people exchanges.
On 6th January 2022, Prime ministers Scott Morrison of Australia and Fumio Kishida of Japan met in a virtual summit to sign the defence agreement. Australia signed a historic security treaty with Japan which will improve cooperation between the respective defence forces. According to the statement by Prime Minister Morrison, “This treaty will be a statement of our two nations’ commitment to work together in meeting the shared strategic security challenges we face and to contribute to a secure and stable Indo-Pacific.” Further, he stated that “It will, for the first time, provide a clear framework for enhanced interoperability and cooperation between our two forces.” “Our cooperation also includes an expanding agenda for the Quad with India and the United States and our shared technology-led approach to reducing carbon emissions.”
The agreement is being seen as a landmark instrument that will increase and strengthen the security cooperation between the nations to new heights. Further, it will support the countries to work together to identify opportunities for collaboration on clean energy and critical technologies. The US and Australia, along with India and Japan, are also members of a strategic dialogue known as “the Quad,” and Prime Minister Morrison said that Australia would contribute “an expanding agenda” for that as well.