TOKYO — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will make a working visit to Japan on Jan. 18, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Friday.
Turnbull is set to hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his trip, which the ministry said is expected to “further enhance the ‘Special Strategic Partnership'” between the countries.
Japan sees Australia as a key partner in Abe’s “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy apparently aimed at countering China’s assertiveness at sea in the region.
In January last year, the two countries signed a revised acquisition and cross-servicing agreement, enabling Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the Australian military to supply each other with ammunition.
Turnbull last visited Japan in December 2015. He held talks with Abe on the margins of a regional meeting in the Philippines in November last year.