Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, will travel to the United States and Japan.
Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) will take place on 6 December, and the Australia-Japan Foreign Minister and Defence Ministerial Consultations (2+2) will take place on 9 December 2022.
Australia is committed to working closely with the United States and Japan to foster an Indo-Pacific that is peaceful, stable and prosperous, and in which sovereignty is respected.
The discussions with Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, will consider practical measures to further evolve the Australia-United States Alliance in our shared interests. Through AUSMIN the Albanese Government will pursue ways to more effectively combine the respective strengths of the Alliance, including through the further integration of technology and industrial bases.
The Deputy Prime Minister will also participate in an AUKUS Defence Ministers’ Meeting with UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, and US Secretary of Defense Austin. This will be the first trilateral in-person Defence Ministers’ Meeting since the AUKUS announcement.
Australia and Japan are Special Strategic Partners with significant trade and investment links, strong defence and security ties, and a close affinity between our peoples.
Discussions with Japan’s Foreign Minister, Hayashi Yoshimasa, and Minister of Defense, Hamada Yasukazu, will progress the renewed Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, signed by Prime Minister Albanese and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida in October.
Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP:
“I look forward to visiting the United States again as we continue to bolster the relationship with our closest alliance partner.
“While there, I will also take part in the first AUKUS Defence Ministers’ Meeting which will see us progress developments in advanced capabilities, and discuss the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
“The current challenging strategic circumstances mean that alignment between our international partners, including the United States and Japan, has never been stronger, or more important.
“Our nations will continue to work bilaterally, and with our regional and global partners, to ensure an inclusive, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong:
“The United States is Australia’s vital security ally and our closest global partner.
“US engagement in the Indo-Pacific makes an indispensable contribution to regional prosperity and strategic balance.
“Our relationship with Japan is more comprehensive and more important than ever.
“Australia, the United States and Japan are partnering on shared priorities in our region, including climate change, economic development and security – helping create a region that is stable, prosperous and respectful of sovereignty.”