Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles (left) and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi shake hands after a joint news conference at the Ministry of Defense on June 15, 2022, in Tokyo. (SHUJI KAJIYAMA / POOL / AP)
TOKYO - Australia wants "broad and deep" cooperation with Japan as the two US allies face complex security circumstances in Asia as a result of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, rising inflation and COVID-19 disruption, its defense minister said on Wednesday.
Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said both countries would use a reciprocal access agreement signed in January to engage in deeper and more sophisticated cooperation that would strengthen their militaries' interoperability
"It is clear that our region faces the most complex set of strategic circumstances we have known since the end of the Second World War," the minister, Richard Marles, told a media conference with his Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi, after talks in Tokyo.
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The allies have been increasing defense cooperation and the conflict in Ukraine is spurring a deepening of those ties.
Marles said Australia and Japan would use a reciprocal access agreement signed in January to engage in deeper and more sophisticated cooperation that would strengthen their militaries' interoperability.
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The access pact provides a legal bases for Australian and Japanese forces visiting each other's countries and establishes a framework for cooperation.