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Australia-China warning: Canberra strikes pact with Japan in ‘strong message’ to Beijing
November 11, 2020
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The basis of the new pact is to allow both nations the ability to deploy troops in each other’s territory. The new signatory agreement will see Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga send “a strong message” to China that both powers are willing to work mutually to stop Beijing’s belligerent actions. The Australian prime minister is expected to travel to Japan within weeks.
The Australian defence pact with Japan will be used as a bulwark against Beijing’s growing military power especially in the South China Sea.
China has been accused of ignoring international maritime law in its quest to stamp its authority over the vast South China Sea.
Chinese and Australian relations have been deteriorating in the past few months since Mr Morrison led an international call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
A trip to Japan would be Mr Morrison’s first overseas visit this year.
Australia has been one of the most prominent leaders against China’s maritime expansion in the Indo-Pacific region.
The aim of the new pact is to contain Beijing’s moves.
The pact between both countries has a policy called the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA).
This agreement is intended to allow the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and Australian military personnel to temporarily enter each other’s territories for joint exercises, such as military drills.
The pact was first talked about by former Japanese prime minister Abe and then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in July 2014.
This agreement will be the first of its kind for Japan and will see the country take a much more pro-active role in the region.
Japan has recently strengthened its ties with Australia.
Japan has said its ties to Australia are second only to the USA.
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Its military alliance with Australia is on par with Australia’s defensive pacts with New Zealand and the UK.
However, the US still resides as the paramount ally for Australia.
Japan and Australia have both placed the Indo-Pacific region at the top of their foreign policies.