Combined Ops

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Japan and Australia sign defense agreement

Reported here:
Japan and Australia signed a defense pact Tuesday, committing the two nations to cooperation on military, antiterrorism, and security matters.

Bloomberg reports that the defense pact, signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, will partner the two countries "on disaster relief, border security and fighting terrorism," and will include cooperation and personnel exchange between the Japanese and Australian militaries.
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Japan and Australia signed a defense pact Tuesday, committing the two nations to cooperation on military, antiterrorism, and security matters.

Bloomberg reports that the defense pact, signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, will partner the two countries "on disaster relief, border security and fighting terrorism," and will include cooperation and personnel exchange between the Japanese and Australian militaries.
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The pact is Japan's first permanent military arrangement since World War II with a nation other than the US.

The Asia Times reports that the "historic joint security declaration" may be "partly aimed at diluting the widespread public impression in both countries that their leaders focus too much on their alliance with the US."
China, of course, expresses concern:
...Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said that he hopes that the Australia-Japan pact will take Chinese concerns into account.

"China pursues the road of peaceful development. The modernization of our armed forces is defensive in nature," he said. "We hope the relevant countries can objectively understand China's foreign and defense policies," he added.

When commenting on statements by the Australian and Japanese leaders that their security pact is not aimed at China, Qin said "we hope what they said is true."

"China will not invade or threaten other countries, so we have nothing to fear. We remain unperturbed," Qin said.

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