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Australia-Japan talks: development, regional security, whaling

January 14, 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Sydney on January 13, 2012 (Photo: Kyodo News)

Foreign Minister Bob Carr with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Sydney on January 13, 2012 (Photograph: Kyodo News)

Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida yesterday, January 13, held talks on regional security, development and whaling, in Sydney.

The talks come less than a month after the election of the Abe Government in Japan on December 16, 2012 and are part of Minister Kishida’s first overseas visits as Foreign Minister.


Security


On security matters, Ministers agreed on the need for the UN Security Council to deliver an effective response to North Korea’s rocket launch in December 2012.

Security discussions also included Afghanistan, Syria, the Middle East peace process, Iran and conflicts in Africa including piracy off the Somalia coastline.

It was agreed that Australia and Japan would further strengthen their cooperation in United Nations activity related to peacekeeping, nuclear non-proliferation and the advancement of an Arms Trade Treaty to reduce the flow of illicit weapons to rogue states and terrorist groups.

Australia and Japan also agreed to continue cooperation on the need for Security Council reform. Australia reaffirmed its support for Japan’s permanent membership of the UNSC.


Development


Both nations agreed to strengthen policy exchanges and co-operation in the Pacific including through the Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation signed by our respective aid agencies – AusAID and JICA – in December 2011.


Whaling


Minister Carr reiterated Australia’s strong position against so-called “scientific” whaling by Japan. Australia is pursuing action in the International Court of Justice on the issue and considers Japanese whaling to be contrary to its international obligations.

Both Australia and Japan have filed detailed written arguments in the Court, which will set the case for oral hearing in The Hague. The case is likely to be listed for hearing in the latter half of 2013.

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