VISIT TO JAPAN

Media Release – Monday, 1 June 2015

From 2-4 June 2015, I will visit Japan to meet with my Japanese counterpart, Defence Minister Gen Nakatani. This will be my first visit to Japan as Minister for Defence.

Japan is an important regional defence and security partner for Australia. Our nations share a commitment to the rule of law, regional peace and security and mutual alliances with the United States.

Australia welcomes and supports Japan’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its capacity to proactively contribute to regional and global peace and security.

These efforts allow Japan to continue to be an active participant in supporting regional peace and stability and provide our countries with greater scope to work together.

Reflecting our common interests, last year saw the further development of practical Australia-Japan bilateral defence cooperation, including in the fields of defence science and technology, and enhanced participation in military exercises and strategic dialogue.

Australia is also committed to working with Japan to support regional security through enhance trilateral cooperation with the United States.

As announced by the Government on 20 February this year, Japan had been identified as a potential international partner for Australia’s Future Submarine Program. I welcome Japan’s announcement on 18 May that it would participate in the process.

While in Japan, I will tour the Kawasaki/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries commercial shipyard in Kobe.

For Australian industry to have the best opportunity to maximise their involvement in the Future Submarine Program they need to work with an international partner.

The Future Submarine Program is the largest Defence procurement programme in Australia’s history and represents a $50 billion investment in Australia’s safety and security. It is vital that we get this program right so our Navy has the right capability to support them.