Japan and Australia Relations
Japan and Australia have signed a ‘Reciprocal ACCESS Agreement: RAA’.
RAA is a new agreement. This has been done for better cooperation in the defense sector. Its purpose is to strengthen mutual security ties against China’s growing military and economic power.
The RAA will allow Australian and Japanese forces to work seamlessly with each other on defense and humanitarian missions.
The RAA will also pave the way for expanded contributions by Japan and Australia to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Earlier, many countries including France, Germany and the European Union had also released their strategy related to the Indo-Pacific region.
Causes of global attraction towards the Indo-Pacific region:
- Important Sea lines of communication (SLOC): The presence of major choke points from the Mozambique Channel in the west and Bab-el-Mandeb to the Strait of Lombok in the east.
- Trade and Economy: This region is home to 65% of the world’s population. The sector contributes 62% to the global GDP. The sector accounts for 46% of the world’s total commodity trade.
- Rich in natural resources: It includes offshore hydrocarbons, methane hydrates, sea floor minerals, rare earth metals, abundant fish reserves, etc.
- China Factor: Regional and non-regional countries have objected against China’s aggressive foreign policy, rapid economic expansion, military modernization and show of power.
Initiatives taken by India:
- Separate divisions under the Ministry of External Affairs- Indo-Pacific Division and Indian Ocean Region Division.
- Policies aligned with the vision of the Indo-Pacific, such as the ActEast Policy, Security and Development for All in the Region (SAGAR), etc.
- Partnerships (Quad, BIMSTEC, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) etc.
- Maintaining and expanding India’s naval presence.
Source – The Hindu