Japan’s foreign and defense ministers met with their Australian counterparts on Wednesday. The meeting, in Sydney, Australia, is likely to confirm closer security coordination amid China’s growing maritime presence.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya are being hosted by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Christopher Pyne.
At the start of the meeting, Payne emphasized the importance of bilateral ties, adding that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Darwin next month. A bilateral summit with the 2 countries’ leaders will discuss cooperative ties and other shared issues.
Kono responded that Australia is a special strategic partner, sharing values and interests with Japan. He said Japan hopes to play a key regional role with Australia in promoting its “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy.