The defense ministers of Japan, the United States, and Australia signed an agreement; the transaction will strengthen research cooperation

Yomiuri Shimbun
Defense Minister Minoru Kihara

WASHINGTON — Japan, the United States and Australia are in the process of signing a document to promote joint research and development in defense at a trilateral defense ministers meeting in Hawaii on Thursday, a senior U.S. Department of Defense official told The Washington Post. The final stage.

The official also said that the command and control system of the US military in Japan will be re-evaluated, with the goal of completing the assessment by March 2025.

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Australian Defense Minister Richard Mullers will go to Hawaii to attend the re-election ceremony of the commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The three are expected to reach an agreement and sign the agreement before the ceremony.

The document will include equipment standardization protocols and advanced information sharing for research, development and testing. The official said the agreement will enhance equipment interoperability and make cooperation more efficient and cost-effective.

In January, Japan agreed to conduct joint research with Australia on autonomous underwater vehicles, while working with the United States to analyze technologies to counter hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia. Trilateral countries are conducting research on drones linked to fighter jets. The upcoming agreement is expected to extend current bilateral cooperation in advanced technologies into a trilateral framework.

The official also said that reassessing the command and control structure between the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces in Japan is expected to be an agenda item at a meeting of the Japanese and U.S. defense ministers on Thursday. The official said that the United States is conducting in-depth research on the best way to organize the US military in Japan and the necessary equipment.

The official said that the United States will speed up the re-evaluation in order to achieve it before Japan establishes the Self-Defense Forces Joint Operations Command at the end of fiscal year 2024, which will strengthen the integrated operations of its ground, maritime and air forces.

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