Albany ANZAC Commemoration reflects strong Defence ties with Japan
1 November 2014
The participation of Japanese Murasame class destroyer JDS Kirisame in this weekend’s centennial commemoration of the first convoy of ships that carried ANZAC troops to World War I reflects the strong historical and growing military relationship between Japan and Australia.
“The convoy that carried 30,000 men from the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) departed from Albany in Western Australia on the morning of 1 November 1914 to sail for Egypt. Japanese cruiser, HIJMS Ibuki, joined the troop convoy two days after it departed Albany to provide escort support.
“This year JDS Kirisame and her crew of 165 are participating in the commemorative event marking one of the lesser known stories of Australia’s past defence cooperation with Japan,” Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs said.
Australia’s Defence relationship with Japan is strong and growing and includes recent combined operational service. In May 2005, the ADF deployed a Task Group to Iraq’s Al Muthanna Province to provide support and security for the Japanese Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group. This support enabled the Japanese troops to undertake thier important humanitarian, engineering and rebuilding tasks in Al Muthanna Province, until the conclusion of their mission in July 2006.
Since August 2012, two ADF personnel have been deployed to South Sudan to assist the Japanese contribution to the United Nations Mission to the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate.
Commitment to the growing relationship was reinforced during reciprocal visits of Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers this year.
On 8 July 2014, Prime Ministers Abbott and Abe welcomed the recent growth and deepening of the bilateral defence and security relationship in support of international peace and stability. During this meeting, leaders agreed to enhance practical defence cooperation between Australia and Japan, including trilateral cooperation with our most significant strategic partner, the United States.
The recommendations agreed will also deepen the bilateral security and defence relationship through enhanced training and exercises, increased personnel exchanges, and cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping, capacity building and trilateral security cooperation with the United States.
The two leaders decided to commence negotiations with a view to making an agreement that would reciprocally improve administrative, policy and legal procedures to facilitate joint operations and exercises. The leaders also signed the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology that will facilitate deeper cooperation between Australia and Japan through joint research, development and production of defence equipment and technology in areas of mutual interest, including hydrodynamics.
“Defence welcomes increased practical defence ties with Japan as we work towards our shared goals of international peace and stability. This is a key relationship for Australia and the participation of JDS Kirisame in the ANZAC commemorative event in Albany is a clear demonstration of our strong historic and current links,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
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