Tokyo-Canberra ties key to peace in Asia
The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network
July 11, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
Japan and Australia are strategic partners that share the responsibility of fostering peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We urge the two countries to deepen their mutual relationship on the occasion of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Australia.
In his talks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday, Abe explained Japan's reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense.
Abe stressed that the aim of the reinterpretation was to "protect the lives and peaceful livelihood of the people and let Japan play a more proactive role in the international community."
Abbott welcomed Japan's move and credited Japan as being a peace-loving country, saying that "Japan has been ... an exemplary international citizen in the postwar era."
The reinterpretation enables Japan to exercise its collective self-defense right and order the Self-Defense Forces to protect Australian vessels when an emergency occurs on the Korean Peninsula or elsewhere.
During a speech to the Australian Parliament, Abe said, "Australia and Japan have now freed ourselves from one old layer and are now moving towards a new 'special relationship.'" We concur with Abe's view.
Abe and Abbott signed an accord on the joint development of defense equipment. Australia is interested in Japan's submarine technology, and the two countries are scheduled to conduct a joint study on the fluid mechanics of ships. We urge the two nations to steadily continue cooperation in this respect.