Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement

  • Japan and Australia agreed on a breakthrough defence pact on 17th November 2020 allowing reciprocal visits for training and operations, and voiced concern over the disputed South China Sea, where China is extending its military influence.
  • It is Japan’s first agreement covering foreign military presence on its soil since a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in 1960 that allowed the United States to base warships, jets and troops in Japan as part of an alliance that Washington describes as the bedrock of regional security.
  • The Reciprocal Access Agreement strengthens defence ties between the two U.S. allies at a time when China is asserting its role in the region and the United States is going through a messy leadership transition.
  • The pact allows Japanese and Australian troops to visit each other’s countries and conduct training and joint operations.
  • The two sides also agreed on the need for a framework to allow Japanese military to protect Australian forces if needed.