Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Japan and Australia Sign Defense Pact

Posted by K.E. White on March 13, 2007

Shinzo AbeJohn HowardToday Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a defense pact between the two countries today. 

From BBC:

The defence deal – Japan’s first with a country other than the US – includes co-operation on border security, counter-terrorism and disaster relief.

It is the result of closer co-operation on security matters in Asia that Japan and Australia have been pursuing.

The four part agreement Mr Abe signed with Australian PM John Howard in Tokyo sets out priorities for co-operation on counter-terrorism activities, maritime security, border protection and disaster relief.

China, a strategic rival of Japan, was considered to frown upon the deal as proof of containment on the part of the United States, Australia, and Japan.

The China Post Front Page featured a Reuters report titled Australia-Japan Defense Pact Won’t Not Hurt China:

A defense pact between Australia and Japan will not jeopardize the country’s ties with China, Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard said on Sunday.

Howard will sign a defense agreement, which is expected to include greater intelligence sharing and joint training exercises in Australia, with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during a three-day visit to Tokyo.

Howard is due in Japan late on Sunday.

“I don’t think anybody in their wildest imagination would suggest that our relations with China aren’t very good and very close,” Howard told reporters in Sydney.

“But our relations with Japan are very good and very close — and bear in mind that Japan is a democracy who shares many things with us that are special.

“Because of that I don’t expect there will be any enduring sensitivities on the part of China any more than there are any enduring sensitivities on the part of China in respect of our close alliance with the United States.”

Xinhua reports on Qin Gang’s, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, responses to questions about the deal:

Qin GangWhen asked to comment on whether the declaration would prompt China to spend more on its military modernization, Qin said China’s defense development does not pose a threat to other countries.

“China pursues the road of peaceful development. The modernization of our armed forces is defensive in nature,” he said.

“We hope the relevant countries can objectively understand China’s foreign and defense policies,” he added.

When commenting on statements by the Australian and Japanese leaders that their security pact is not aimed at China, Qin said “we hope what they said is true.”

“China will not invade or threaten other countries, so we have nothing to fear. We remain unperturbed,” Qin said.

But this security pact may be a last hurray of sorts of Australian Prime Minister Howard, who is growing increasingly unpopular at home. The opposition Labor party is shown beating Howard if he goes for a fifth term as Prime Minister.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe can relate: he’s been in the dog house for a long while, but recent polls show Abe and his party bottoming out.

From the SignOnSanDiego.com:

Public support for Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) dropped a mere 0.2 of a percentage point to 31.4 percent from the month before, the NHK poll showed. The approval rating for the main opposition Democratic Party rose 0.6 of a percentage point to 13.9 percent, it said.

Abe, 52, comes from the most conservative wing of the LDP, which wants to revise how wartime history is taught to restore pride in Japan’s past and rewrite the pacifist constitution so Tokyo can play a bolder role in global security.

Many conservatives felt betrayed when Abe appeared to soften his stance on history after taking office in September, a step seen as intended to thaw a chill in ties with Beijing.

Analysts say Abe’s original remarks on the ‘comfort women’ were intended to woo back his base ahead of July upper house elections.

Advertisements

One Response to “Japan and Australia Sign Defense Pact”

  1. Alex said

    Thank You

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: