U.S.-Japan-Australia Trilateral Defense Ministers Meeting (TDMM 2022 Joint Vision Statement) > U.S. Department of Defense > Communiqué

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Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Richard Marles, Japanese Minister of Defense Kishi Nobuo and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III convened a trilateral meeting of defense ministers in Singapore on June 11 during the 19th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue 2022) in Singapore. This was the tenth meeting between the defense leaders of the three nations. The leaders exchanged views on the regional security environment and pledged to work together to take concrete and practical steps to ensure the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. With TDMM confirming this strategic alignment between the three leaders, the respective ministries plan to continue to strengthen trilateral defense cooperation in the interest of regional security, bolstering the important work of their countries’ diplomats.

Ministers oppose coercion and destabilizing behavior that undermines a rules-based international system. They continue to oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, as evidenced by the united response against Russia’s unprovoked, unjust and unlawful aggression against Ukraine. This aggression is a flagrant violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, and ministers have reason to believe that Russia has committed flagrant war crimes throughout Ukraine. They call on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces and cease its attack on Ukrainian territory, and to comply with the legally binding order of the International Court of Justice of March 16.

Ministers are concerned about the increasingly difficult security environment in the East China Sea, which undermines regional peace and stability. Ministers are strongly opposed to any unilateral destabilizing or coercive action aimed at changing the status quo and increasing tensions in the region.

Ministers share serious concerns about the situation in the South China Sea and oppose any unilateral attempt to alter or influence the status quo through the militarization of contested elements and coercive or intimidating actions. They firmly oppose China’s illegal maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea that are inconsistent with international law, especially as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They reaffirm that the 2016 decision of the South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute. Ministers stress the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular as reflected in UNCLOS, including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea. They also reaffirm their support for the legal trade without hindrance.

The ministers stress the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of issues crossing the Strait.

Ministers reaffirm their unwavering support for the unity and centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its importance in promoting positive norms and behaviors, contributing to security and the search for consensus and practical regional cooperation, including through the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting. -Plus (ADMM Plus).

Ministers remain committed to international efforts to address the serious threats posed to the region by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). They condemn the DPRK’s destabilizing and illegal development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, including the multiple launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. They stress the importance of achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) resolutions. Their governments reaffirmed their commitment to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions through cooperative efforts to deter and disrupt illicit ship-to-ship transfers and other illegal maritime activities. They call on the DPRK to immediately resolve the issue of Japanese abductions and end its human rights abuses.

Ministers pledged to deepen cooperation with Pacific island countries to support a secure and prosperous Pacific region where sovereignty is respected, including working with Pacific partners to support maritime security, respond to increased pressure from natural disasters and dealing with the impacts of climate change. The three countries will continue to expand regional engagement and strengthen cooperation with their Pacific counterparts, in particular through an inclusive Pacific-centric architecture, such as the Pacific Islands Forum, as well as recognizing the importance other fora such as the South Pacific Defense Ministers Meeting (SPDMM) and the Japan-Pacific Defense Dialogue (JPIDD).

Recognizing the vital role of their respective forces in anchoring stability in the region, the ministers confirmed a number of concrete outcomes of the meeting in the following areas:

Trilateral activities and exercises:

  • Increase and strengthen trilateral exercises to improve interoperability and readiness.
  • Build on the Asset Protection Mission (APM) for the Australian Defense Force by the Japan Self-Defense Force in 2021 by conducting the first APM in a trilateral activity.
  • Enhance training opportunities that will be facilitated by the Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) and other alliance frameworks.
  • Promote coordinated responses to regional disasters and crises and deepen cooperation in maritime capacity building.

Extended cooperation:

  • Direct departments to perform the coordination necessary to create a research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) framework to advance trilateral cooperation.
  • Explore and pursue trilateral cooperation on advanced technologies and strategic capabilities.

Transparent co-ordination:

  • Make effective use of trilateral information exchange mechanisms.

Inclusive partnerships:

  • To deepen the Indo-Pacific’s engagement with European and like-minded partners and allies in upholding the values ​​of democracy, transparency and respect for international norms that find their place in every corner of the world.

They recognize that their respective bilateral relations provide a solid foundation for deepening the trilateral partnership and maintaining regional peace and stability. Recognizing the power of collective action and sharing the view that no country can achieve it alone, Ministers seek to expand cooperation, build inclusive partnerships with other like-minded countries, increase the reach of defense cooperation in new and innovative areas, and work broadly to ensure a free, open and prosperous future for the Indo-Pacific region.

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