Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida regarding His Visit to Australia and Other Matters
October 22, 2022
(On the outcomes of Prime Minister Kishida's visit to Australia)
First of all, Australia shares fundamental values and strategic interests with Japan and also holds special importance for the Japanese economy, and during this visit to Australia, amid an increasingly severe strategic environment, we have succeeded in confirming our cooperation in the areas of security and defense, cooperation towards the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and also cooperation in the areas of resources and energy. I look back on my visit as having been of great importance in that regard.
In particular, I believe it was highly significant that within Japan-Australia security cooperation, we signed the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, which is intended to serve as a compass indicating the direction our cooperation will take over the next decade.
The importance of resource and energy security has also been underlined because of the Ukraine situation and other circumstances. It was in such a context that Prime Minister Albanese stated that in the fields of resources and energy, Australia is a reliable partner and continues to be a secure investment recipient.
Against that backdrop, Prime Minister Albanese and I agreed to continue to act in cooperation going forward, cooperate in the fields of resources and energy, and also strengthen our cooperation further in the future. These points were part of our discussions. In that context, a critical minerals partnership was signed as one part of our confirmation of that bilateral cooperation. I also toured a nickel refinery, where I felt the importance of the battery metal supply chain very acutely. I want to advance these kinds of concrete examples of Japan-Australia cooperation still further.
The Special Strategic Partnership between Japan and Australia plays an important role in the peace and stability of not only both our countries, but also the region and the international community as a whole. I feel that my visit to Australia resulted in us successfully raising this Special Strategic Partnership of ours to a higher dimension.
(On the aims and assumptions underlying the inclusion of the wording, "consult each other on contingencies that may affect our sovereignty and regional security interests and consider measures in response" in the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation)
As I said just now, this Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation itself is a document intended to serve as a compass determining the direction for our bilateral security cooperation over the next decade. We prepared the document with that understanding in mind. As this Declaration indicates our direction going forward, it is not the case that we kept any particular country or region in mind.
I want us to make efforts based on this new Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, so that it becomes an agreement enabling Japan and Australia, which share fundamental values as well as strategic interests, to contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. Based on this way of thinking, we built up our ideas from various perspectives at the working level and compiled them into this Joint Declaration.
(On the positioning of Japan-Australia relations based on the newly-announced Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation)
There was also a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation already in effect until now, and we have built up our cooperation is various concrete forms based on that Declaration. Now, on this occasion, we have signed a new Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, through which we have confirmed our direction forward for the next decade. Within our relationships with our allies and with like-minded countries, each has its own importance and its own kind of significance. I feel that Japan-Australia relations have also become able to be positioned as one of the cores of a partnership of like-minded countries.