Former ambassadors and Japanese defense officials at forum on Asia-Pacific security

As a defiant North Korea fires missiles over Japan, former Australian Ambassadors to South Korea and a senior official in the Japanese Defense Department will discuss the future of the Asia- Pacific region at a special Western Sydney University event.

Taking place at Western Sydney University’s Parramatta South campus on September 20, the symposium celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Joint Declaration of Security Co-operation between Australia and Japan, the only security agreement Japan has signed with any country other than the United States.

The Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia event comes as North Korea faces new United Nations sanctions after conducting nuclear tests, flying missiles over Japan, and threatening to ‘sink’ Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness.”

Speakers include:

  • Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, GRIPS and Former Vice Minister, International, Ministry of Defence, Japan
  • Richard Broinowski, President of Australian Institute of International Affairs, NSW and former Ambassador to South Korea
  • Geoff Miller A.O. Former Australian Ambassador to Japan and South Korea and former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments
  • Professor Go Ito, Meiji University, Tokyo
  • Professor Andrew ONeil, Griffith University.

Conference organiser Dr David Walton, from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, says security issues in the Asia Pacific region are at a critical juncture.

“We have the Korean Peninsula on high alert, two North Korean missilies have flown over northern Japan; on-going tension over territorial issues involving China in the South China Sea,” says Dr Walton.

“In addition there are serious threats to South East Asian security by IS linked and inspired militant forces in the southern Philippines, and a new refugee crisis involving Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar in Bangladesh.”

The symposium, which is an anniversary celebration of a security agreement between Australia and Japan, will allow experts to assess these events and to examine ways in which Australia and Japan can cooperate in order to seek peaceful solutions.  The security agreement allows for regular consultation between the two countries including annual ‘2 plus 2’ meetings between Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministers and closer consultation between the defence communities.

The symposium is co-hosted with the Australian Institute of International Affairs in Sydney and The Japan Forum for Global Affairs in Tokyo.

The Joint Declaration of Security Co-operation between Australia and Japan deals with non-traditional security issues such as climate change, piracy and movement of people.

For more information and to register please visit the Symposium website.