Japan, Australia to Sign Military Pact With Eye on China

Under the deal, troops from each country will be able to freely enter the other

Japan and Australia are set to sign a military pact during virtual talks between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday as the two countries are deepening cooperation against China.

The treaty, known as the Reciprocal Access Agreement, will allow troops from Australia to enter Japan and vice versa. The pact is significant since it will mark the first time since the end of World War II that Japan allows another foreign military besides the US on its soil.

The treaty was agreed on principal back in November 2020 and was welcomed by US military leaders. The US has been encouraging its Pacific allies to boost cooperation as the Pentagon’s primary focus is now countering China in the region.

Japan, Australia, the US, and India form the four-nation group known as the Quad that is viewed as a potential foundation for an anti-China NATO-style alliance in Asia. In recent years, the Quad nations have stepped up joint military exercises.

Australia recently signed the AUKUS military pact with the US and Britain that will give Canberra access to technology to develop nuclear-powered submarines. The deal has raised tensions between China and Australia, as the nuclear submarines are clearly meant for patrols near China.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.