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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Australia and Japan Ink Defense Pact

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have announced an “in-principle agreement” on the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), a two-way defence treaty.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have announced an  “in-principle agreement” on the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), a two-way defence treaty.

The agreement was finally made after six years of negotiation amid ongoing tensions in the region with China.

Morrison said the agreement was a pivotal agreement in history between the two nations.  

The RAA will cover joint military training exercises and natural disaster and humanitarian support.

The RAA would need to be first ratified by lawmakers before it would take into effect and would be the first agreement for Japan since it signed a status of forces agreement in 1960  that allowed the United States to station forces in the Japanese Islands.  

Morrison invited Suga to visit Australia next year to formally sign the agreement once both parties have agreed with one another on whether visiting Australian Defence Force members who committed serious crimes in Japan would not potentially face the death penalty.

“The significance of the RAA cannot be understated. It will form a key plank of Australia’s and Japan’s response to an  increasingly challenging security environment in our region amid more  uncertain strategic circumstances,” said Morrison.

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