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Defence Minister visit to Japan.



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The Hon. John Moore, MP

Minister for Defence

 

MIN/99

Friday, 28 May 1999

 

Defence Minister Visit to Japan

 

“The continuation of a strong and supportive security relationship between Japan and the United States is vital to the peace and security of the A sia-Pacific region,” Defence Minister John Moore said today, following talks with the Japanese Defence Minister, Mr Hosei Norota.

 

“It’s for this reason that Australia welcomes the recent endorsement by the Japanese Diet of the revised Japan-United States Defence Cooperation Guidelines. The revised guidelines will enhance Japan’s ability to support US forces.”

 

“At the same time, it will broaden the scope of Japan Self Defence Force activities to include international peace cooperation and disaster relief operations.”

 

During his talks with Mr Norota, Mr Moore discussed his recent trips to China and South Korea, where he held talks with his counterparts in both countries and met with Chinese Premier, Zhu Rongji, and South Korean Prime Minister, Kim Jong-Pil.

 

“It was clear from my talks in Japan and Korea that both countries saw that strong, bilateral ties with the United States were an essential foundation from which cooperative and open relations could be developed within the region,” Mr Moore said.

 

“Both countries clearly recognise that the construction and maintenance of a cooperative relationship between China and the United States is essential to ensuring a stable security environment in Northeast Asia. They saw the amelioration of current tensions between China and the United States as an important and desirable goal.”

 

Mr Moore and Mr Norota agreed that the development of bilateral defence relations between Australia and Japan was progressing in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner.

 

They also agreed to continue high level dialogue through ministerial visits, political-military, and military-military talks, as well as through visits by defence force units and personnel changes. In that context, the upcoming political-military talks in July in Australia, and the Chief of Defence Force counterpart talks to be held later this year, will provide an opportunity to further develop the important dialogue between the two countries.

 

“I also invited Mr Norota to visit Australia at a mutually convenient time,” Mr Moore said.

 

Whilst in Japan, Mr Moore visited the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force Fleet Headquarters at Yokosuka and inspected the Kongo Class Destroyer, JDS Kirishima.

 

Mr Moore also travelled to the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery at Hodogaya where he laid a wreath at the Memorial in the Australian section of the cemetery.

 

Chris Wordsworth Media Adviser — 02 6277 7800, 0419 982 482

Fax: 02 6273 4118

 

 

dd  1999-06-01  12:56