Friday, May 24, 2024

Japan, U.S., Australia sign defense technology cooperation pact

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The defense ministers of Japan, the United States and Australia on Thursday signed a cooperation agreement on new technologies including autonomous systems, as they ramp up security ties amid China’s military buildup in the Indo-Pacific region.

In a joint statement released after their meeting in Hawaii, the three also said their forces aim to conduct an “inaugural regional air and missile defense live-fire exercise in 2027” at a regular multinational military exercise.

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara (L) and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are pictured together in Hawaii on May 2, 2024. (Kyodo)


The three-way talks between Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles came ahead of their quadrilateral meeting involving Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro.

In the statement, Kihara, Austin and Marles said they will “further discuss cooperative opportunities” in cutting-edge technology, also including areas of “collaborative combat aircraft” and “composite aerospace materials.”

They said cooperation on new technologies will be pursued under their new trilateral Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Projects Arrangement.

The three also agreed to carry out trilateral F-35 fighter jet joint training in each of their countries over the next two years through 2026.

As for Russia’s war in Ukraine, the defense chiefs strongly condemned the “increasing military cooperation between North Korea and Russia,” including Pyongyang’s export and Moscow’s procurement of North Korean ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The three also condemned Russia’s use of the missiles against Ukraine.

Related coverage:

Japan, U.S., Australia, Philippines agree on rules-based Indo-Pacific

U.S.-Japan missile development project to cost over $3 billion

North Korea’s Kim oversees tactical drill simulating nuke counterattack

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