Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison became the first foreign leader to be hosted face-to-face by Japan’s new PM, Yoshihide Suga, after his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, stepped down in September.
But was the visit worth the risk of travel in the midst of a pandemic?
The most high-profile outcome was the announcement of an "in-principle agreement" on a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) that’s yet to be signed.
This will enable Australia and Japan to streamline the stationing of the Australian Defence Force in Japan and the Japan Self-Defence Forces (SDF) in Australia, to facilitate joint military exercises and disaster relief and to bolster interoperability.
It makes the RAA the second such agreement Japan has signed – after its 1960 Status of Forces Agreement with the United States. The RAA would cement Australia and Japan as each other’s second most important security partner after their respective alliances with the United States.