//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian Prime Minister says “Japan is our closest friend in Asia”


Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe

Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe

Tony Abbott has declared Japan Australia’s “closest friend in Asia”, elevating the former World War II aggressor past both China and Indonesia as he continued his regional charm offensive.

Mr Abbott met the conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the 18-member East Asia Summit being held over two days in the tiny sultanate of Brunei.

The talks between the two leaders were described as “exceptionally warm” and covered a range of topics from trade to security, with Mr Abbott effectively endorsing Japan’s re-emergence as a strategic power.

While the precise language was not released, it is understood Mr Abbott used the talks, one of many such bilateral meetings since attending the APEC and East Asia Summit meetings, to establish relations and to arrange more exchanges at a later time.

As a result of the discussions, Mr Abbott will now add Tokyo to his Beijing visit slated for the first half of next year, a trip in which he is also likely to take in Seoul, South Korea. He has said he will invite business, academic and scientific leaders along as well as some state premiers.

In 2008 then prime minister Kevin Rudd created diplomatic unease by including China in his first big trip but not Japan.

In a concrete manifestation of Mr Abbott’s elevation of Japan to best friend status, Mr Abe has agreed to an invitation to address the Australian Parliament in a joint sitting – an honour extended to few world leaders.

The two leaders discussed free trade negotiations as well as deepening defence and security relations, in a recognition of Tokyo’s increasingly activist military profile, despite its avowedly pacifist stance set out in the constitution.

Sources said the two also discussed Mr Abbott’s new two-way Colombo Plan to send and receive students from the region.

It is understood Mr Abbott told Mr Abe he agreed with Japan’s defensive enhancements and wanted to see the world’s third largest economy also take a more active role in global security.

Mr Abbott arrived in Brunei on Wednesday after departing Bali, Indonesia, where he attended a ceremony at the Bali Memorial for the victims of the 2002 and 2005 bombings.

His comments about Japan may raise eyebrows in Beijing and in Indonesia where he repeatedly said Jakarta was Canberra’s most important relationship.

Mr Abbott was also due to meet with the leaders of South Korea and the Philippines while in Brunei.

Source: The Age – Tony Abbott says Japan is Australia’s ‘closest friend in Asia’
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: