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Japan-Australia defence cooperation pact to take effect tomorrow

2023 Aug 12, 17:51, Tokyo [Japan]

In an effort to counter China's expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific, the Japanese government announced that a pact with Australia that will enable joint exercises and improve security cooperation will go into force on Sunday, the Japan Times reported.

Similar to Tokyo's current Status of Forces Agreement with the United States, the Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement will make it easier for Australian Defence Force and Japanese Self-Defense Force personnel to deploy more quickly.

The deal, signed in January 2022 as Japan's first RAA, will also ease restrictions on the transportation of weapons and supplies for joint exercises and disaster relief operations, The Japan Times reported.

The move came after the Japanese parliament in April approved legislation for the pact, along with one with Britain, to complete its domestic approval processes.

Through the security agreements, Japan aims to boost security ties with the United States and other like-minded countries to enhance deterrence against Beijing, which has become more militarily assertive in the Indo-Pacific region, The Japan Times reported.

Agreeing to start talks on the RAA in 2014, Japan and Australia reached a broad agreement in November 2020. However, Japan's adherence to the death penalty system delayed finalization, as Canberra, having abolished capital punishment, urges other countries to do the same.

An appendix to the accord allows Australia the discretion to refuse the transfer of its soldiers accused of crimes in Japan, thereby preventing potential death sentences, The Japan Times reported.

Japan and Britain concluded an RAA in January this year, but London has yet to finish its domestic procedures for its implementation.


Tokyo Japan china Indo-Pacific Australia joint exercises security cooperation
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