INAUGURAL VISIT TO JAPAN CONCLUDES

Media Release – Thursday, 4 June 2015

Today I concluded my first visit to Japan as Minister for Defence.

Japan is an important regional and security partner for Australia. We share strategic interests, common capabilities and a shared alliance with the United States.

During my visit I had the opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Abe, Defence Minister Nakatani and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Miyazawa on a range of issues of strategic importance to both our countries.

Minister Naktani and I reviewed progress on expanding our defence cooperation ahead of the 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers’ meeting to be held in Australia later this year.

We discussed in detail the outcomes of the Trilateral Defence Ministers’ Meeting, held with Minister Nakatani and our United States counterpart, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, during the course of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Australia welcomes to the new Japan-United States Defence Cooperation Guidelines and the opportunities this will provide for Australia, Japan and the United States to work together on capacity building initiatives in the Indo-Pacific.

Minister Naktani and I also discussed Japan’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its capacity to proactively contribute to regional and global peace and security.

While in Japan, I toured the Kawasaki and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries commercial shipyards in Kobe.

The Future Submarine Programme is the largest Defence procurement program in Australia’s history and represents an investment in the order of $50 billion in Australia’s security.

These costs will be subject to refinement through the competitive evaluation process. A significant proportion of this investment will be spent in Australia.

The Government expects that significant work will be undertaken in Australia during the build phase of the future submarine including combat system integration, design assurance and land based testing. This will result in the creation at least 500 new high-skill jobs in Australia, the majority of which will be based in South Australia.