Anthony Albanese meets Japan PM Fumio Kishida for trade, defence talks

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has met with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida for bilateral talks in Perth and signed a major new pact with the leader.On the agenda was co-operation between the countries on defence amid actions by China and North Korea in the shared Pacific region, as well as trade and Australia’s shifting towards greener exports to Japan.During the meeting, the leaders signed a renewed Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, first established in 2007, that will shape the security partnership over the next decade.It will include members of Japan’s Self-defence Forces undergoing training exercises alongside the Australian Defence Force in northern Australia.The countries already have a longstanding defence alliance, including the landmark Quad partnership alongside India and the United States.Mr Albanese told reporters the pact firmly signalled Australia and Japan’s continued strategic alignment.“Our affinity is now a common desire for a peaceful, prosperous, resilient and secure Indo-Pacific where democracy and human rights are upheld, the rule of law prevails and disputes are settled peacefully without coercion,” he said.“Australian people and Japanese people hold these values dearly and they were at the heart of our annual leaders meeting this morning.”Speaking via a translator, Mr Kishida said both countries were facing an “increasingly harsh strategic environment”.“This declaration confirms that in the event of emergencies that may influence interests in terms of regional security we will consult and study possible responses,” Mr Kishida said.The leaders also discussed energy exports from Australia on which Japan relies for roughly two-thirds of its coal and one-third of its LNG.“Perth is the place that symbolises the history of the Japan-Australia relationship that started with our trade in iron ore and has been the cornerstone of our ties since then,” Mr Kishida said.As the world moves towards net zero, Australia is looking to shift that lucrative relationship to include other critical minerals used in the manufacture of low carbon technologies.To help meet that goal, the leaders signed a “critical mineral partnership” aimed at developing Australia’s domestic sector by promoting investment in supply chains. “We have a long history of supplying resources such as LNG to Japan, and this trade will continue with Western Australia playing a key role,” Mr Albanese said.“As we look to the future, we see real opportunity in the expert of renewables, including hydrogen to Japan, helping both our nations achieve our emissions reduction goals.” He also expressed support for Japan’s Asia zero-emissions committee initiative aimed at promoting decarbonisation in Southeast Asia.Looking further afield, Mr Albanese said Australia had agreed to participate in Japan’s mission to one of Mars’ moons, Phobos, to collect samples.It will involve the returning spacecraft, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, touching down in Woomera in South Australia upon its return to earth in 2029.“We are proud to take part in this world first mission. To me, it is an excellent example of how far Australia and Japan have come and how far we can go,” Mr Albanese said.Ahead of the talks on Saturday, the leaders also cuddled up with koalas, Eric and Henry, and exchanged gifts during a ceremony at Perth’s Kings Park and Botanic Garden.The Australian leader gifted his counterpart a set of four kinetic whisky glasses designed by glass blowing artist Emma Klau.In return, he received from Mr Kishida a set of Sony wireless noise cancelling headphones.It is the first visit for a Japanese Prime Minister to Australia since 2018, however the pair are far from strangers.During his leadership, Mr Albanese has met Mr Kishida three times – at multinational meetings in Tokyo and Madrid, and at the funeral of assassinated former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe.Originally published as Anthony Albanese meets Japanese PM Fumio Kishida for defence, trade talksRead related topics:Anthony Albanese