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Australia and Japan sign defence pact, China mad

Christian Fernsby |
The Australia and Japan defence pact Reciprocal Access Agreement was agreed to in principle during Prime Minister Scott Morrison's state visit to Japan, but still has not been formally signed.

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The agreement would pave the way for the Australian and Japanese militaries to have access to each other's bases, and would deepen cooperation between the two countries.

China's Government has not formally responded to the agreement, but has used a nationalistic unofficial media outlet to say Japan and Australian were setting "a bad example by interpreting their biggest trading partner, China, as a 'security threat' acting at the behest of the U.S.".

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham insisted the defence pact would not have any bearing on Australia's souring relationship with China.

"This will have no bearing in that regard. Japan and Australia are nations that share common values, share a commitment to democratic principles, and it's little surprise we would want to work cooperatively," he said.


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