PAGC2301 Asia Pacific DefenceAustralia and Japan are strengthening defence ties with the Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) coming into effect. This military agreement provides the legal framework for greater defence cooperation between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF).

It is the first visiting forces agreement Japan has struck with any country outside the United States. When it comes to practical outcomes, this agreement will see more training and exercises between the two countries, including:​

  • Japanese F-35s will deploy to Australia, to RAAF Base Tindal for the first time at the end of August.
  • Exercise Bushido Guardian, where Australian F-35s will be deployed to Japan for the first time in early September.
  • Australia will participate in Exercise Yama Sakura as a full participant for the first time with more than 150 personnel travelling to Japan in December.

The RAA will streamline more effective force cooperation, and enable each country to increase the sophistication and regularity of training, exercises and other cooperative activities.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said, “The Reciprocal Access Agreement will deepen the relationship between our respective defence forces, supporting closer cooperation and strengthening the capabilities of both the ADF and the JSDF. Both Australia and Japan recognise the increasing complexity of our security environment and the need to grow our partnership to support a stable and prosperous region.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong said: “Australia and Japan share an aspiration for a stable, peaceful and prosperous region, and this bilateral Reciprocal Access Agreement will help us deepen our defence cooperation. The security and defence relationship between Australia and Japan is critical to both nations, and is underpinned by our Special Strategic Partnership.”


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