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Transcript of joint press statement with His Excellency Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan: Kirribilli House, Kirribilli: 14 January 2017: Japan-Australia relationship; Memorandum of Cooperation on Sport; Defence Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement; US Alliance; Trans-Pacific Partnership; Special and Strategic Partnership between Japan and Australia

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14 January 2017

Joint Press Statement with His Excellency Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan Kirribilli House



Shinzo, I am delighted to have you here in Australia with us - visiting us here in Sydney with your wife on this most beautiful day.

We’ve had a good walk out on South Head and now we have another spectacular view here from Kirribilli House.

Our meeting has reinforced that the Japan-Australia relationship is truly a very Special Strategic Partnership.

The relationship between Australia and Japan is closer, stronger and more constructive than ever.

Only a little while ago I met with the executives of INPEX who have made in their LNG investment the largest Japanese direct overseas investment, over $US40 billion.

That relationship between Japan and Australia, that economic partnership fuelled and driven and enabled by the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, two years old, gets stronger and stronger.

Both our nations share a love of sport, and we look forward to Japan’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup in two years and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

And to that end, to enable us to collaborate even more closely, we have agreed to exchange our expertise through a new Memorandum of Cooperation on Sport.

And with Japan’s growing success in rugby, Shinzo, I think cricket must be next.

The key focus of our discussions were strategic and economic.

We have confirmed our commitment to the rule of law, free trade, open markets in our region - the foundation upon which our prosperity and that of billions of other people in our region depends.

And from today, casting back 60 years, Shinzo, you and your family have played a critical important part in strengthening and deepening that relationship. From the Commerce Agreement signed 60 years ago by your grandfather to the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation which you signed 10 years ago with John Howard. We are all weather friends and we look to Japan as Japan looks to Australia as a reliable and trusted partner.

We witnessed today the signing of an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement which improves the capacity of our defence forces to provide each other with the logistical support during exercises, operations and other activities.

And we are working towards concluding a reciprocal ACSA agreement this year to also make it easier for our respective defence forces to conduct joint visits and exercises.

For both of us, for both of our nations, the United States remains the cornerstone of our strategic and security arrangements.

Our respective Alliance, Alliance of the United States are as relevant and important today as they have ever been.

We will work closely with the incoming Administration as we have been to advance the region’s interests, and our shared goals.

Today, Prime Minister, Shinzo, we have recommitted to creating, to consolidating a truly dynamic 21st century relationship.

Australia is invested in Japan’s success, as Japan is invested in ours.



First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Turnbull and the people of Australia who have warmly accepted myself, my wife and our delegation and extended their hospitality.

I am happy to be able to visit Malcolm’s hometown of Sydney in this beautiful season, one year after Malcolm’s last visit to Japan.

The talks we had today between the two Heads of Government are the seventh, if we count those we have had on the phone. I feel that there is now an even deeper personal relationship of trust between us.

In a situation where there is increasing uncertainty and nebulousness on the political security and economic scenes, it is important to guard and increase the robustness of the free, open and rules based international order.

It is more necessary than ever before for Japan and Australia as Special Strategic Partners to play a leading role for regional peace and prosperity as we both share common values such as freedom, rule of law and democracy.

The talks we had today were extremely meaningful so I would like to introduce the key outcomes.

In the area of security and defence I am happy that the newly drafted Japan-Australia ACSA, reflecting Japan’s legislation for peace and security has been signed. We confirmed that we would cooperate and step up our cooperation in the area of defence cooperation in the area of joint exercises and support for capacity building.

On the agreement concerning the facilitation of reciprocal access and cooperation, earlier on Prime Minister Turnbull expressed his wish that the talks be concluded before the end of 2017. I have heard him and I would like to grapple with the task of bringing the talks to an early conclusion.

I would like to make these approaches feed in to more concrete progress in our cooperation because Australia is an important partner for Japan sharing the principle of proactive contribution to peace.

On the economic front, we agreed that we should demonstrate to the world the importance of free trade. We confirmed that we would coordinate toward the early entry into force of the TPP and prompt conclusion of the ICEP.

We also confirmed that we would [inaudible] cooperation around the pillars of innovation led diversification of industrial structure and local initiatives in making for a closer relationship.

As the Prime Minister pointed out, this year marks a milestone - the 60th anniversary of the Conclusion of the Agreement on Commerce between Japan and the Commonwealth of Australia. We are seeing smooth implementation of the Japan-Australia EPA which will start its second year tomorrow after coming into force.

I hope that the business mission accompanying me this time will provide the impetus for a further deepening of cooperation in the economic sphere which provides the foundation for our bilateral ties.

We affirmed the importance of the role of the US-Japan and US-Australia Alliance in the Asia Pacific region.

We confirmed our intention to maintain solid cooperation, also with the incoming Trump Administration which will be taking office soon.

We shared and we confirmed that we would enhance coordination in the area of the regional situation including the issues of nuclear missile reduction of North Korea among others and the South China Sea.

And otherwise, we shared our understanding on the regional situation. I explained to Malcolm about the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy which I advocate and we agreed that we would deepen coordination of our policies regarding the Indo-Pacific so that we can achieve a [inaudible] affect.

We also agreed on the importance of cooperation engaging India and the cooperation between Japan and Australia in the Pacific Ocean.

We are seeing quite an advancement in terms of cooperation in the area of the economy and security and I value this highly. But we are also seeing exchanges in the area of culture and personal exchanges and sports.

It may take some time for us to enter into cooperation with regards to cricket but we would like to make the rugby 2019 world games a success and we would like to make efforts towards that end.

The press statement we put together today will be a [inaudible] in the deepening and development of the Special and Strategic Partnership between Japan and Australia. I look forward to receiving Malcolm in Japan for our next meeting.

Thank you.


Thank you so much.