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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japan, Australia conduct joint aerial training in Hokkaido

  • September 26, 2019
  • , Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Asahi, Nikkei, and Yomiuri wrote that a joint drill involving Japanese and Australian fighter jets that started in Hokkaido on Sept. 11 was opened to the press yesterday. This was the first time for the two air forces to carry out combat training in Japan, the papers said. The SDF reportedly plans to provide fuel to the Australian planes based on the bilateral acquisition and cross-servicing agreement. The drill was apparently intended to rein in China’s maritime advancement. Defense Minister Kono gave remarks to the two nations’ airmen involved in the exercise. He reportedly called Australia a “special strategic partner” and said “the training will raise bilateral defense cooperation to a new level.”

 

According to Nikkei, defense partnership between Japan and Australia is rapidly deepening. The paper pointed out that their two navies are currently conducting a joint exercise off the Japanese archipelago. Foreign Minister Motegi also reportedly held talks with his Australian counterpart Payne in New York on Tuesday and confirmed mutual coordination on various outstanding issues, such as North Korea’s denuclearization. The daily added, however, that bilateral negotiations for the early conclusion of a visiting force agreement have hit a snag over how to deal with Australian service members in case they commit crimes in Japan while on duty.    

 

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