Japan – Australia Defence Agreement

On January 6, 2022, Japan and Australia will sign a defence agreement to boost security and defence cooperation. The signing of the agreement is considered “historic”. This is to anger China. The agreement is to expand Quad agenda. The agreement will reduce Chinese influence in ASEAN. It will aid in achieving free and open Indo – Pacific.

About the Agreement

The agreement includes sharing military facilities between the countries, landing rights, securing port access, logistic support, legal regimes, logistic support. This means the advanced F-35s (fighter jet) of Japan can now practice in Australian soil. The Australian submarines can now operate in Japanese waters. The countries can build special forces together. Both Japan and Australia share a common interest of keeping the US engaged in the Indo – Pacific.

Why will the agreement anger the Chinese?

The following recent issues reflect that the world countries are not ready to accept Chinese domination:

  • AUKUS Security pact: Signed by Britain, Australia and US. Agreement helps UK to acquire nuclear powered submarines
  • QUAD cooperation strengthening by India, Japan, US and Australia. The Malabar military exercise which was a trilateral exercise (India, US and Japan) till 2020, has now become a QUAD exercise with Australia participating in the exercise in 2021.
  • Emergence of Japan – Australia – US cooperation
  • Increase in South Korea – Australia friendly relations

The countries are coming together under one objective. To put an end to Chinese domination.

How will the agreement stop Chinese influence in ASEAN?

The ASEAN countries are important for both Japan and Australia. China is trying to break ASEAN countries away from world countries. China is also trying to weaken their regional cooperation. According to Japan and Australia, the diplomatic efforts like that of the defence agreement will stop China from turning ASEAN into its business clients.

Still Japan kept away from ANZUS treaty

ANZUS treaty was signed between US, Australia and New Zealand in 1951. The agreement guarantees mutual security. New Zealand withdrew from the treaty in 1980s after it became anti – nuclear. The Japanese Diet and US Congress may not agree to a formal alliance agreement.

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