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The Australian Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (AusCSCAP) – which is based in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre – has held dialogues with specific Asia-Pacific countries in association with the Australian committee’s formal meetings. In many cases, these dialogues have been held with the cooperation of think tanks or university centres in different locations around Australia. On 2 August 2022, AusCSCAP, in cooperation with the AIIA, held an “Australian-Japan Dialogue” as the major part of its 53rd AusCSCAP meeting.
The Dialogue included a half-day of virtual sessions, bringing together Australia-based specialists with a distinguished team organised by the Japanese Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific, which is based at the Japan Institute of International Affairs. The virtual sessions, held in the morning, were: first, “Respective views on the implications of the invasion of Ukraine and the China-Russia “no limits friendship” for the development of security policies in Japan and Australia”; second, “Southeast Asia – Strategic Perspectives and Japanese and Australian Approaches”. Following these virtual sessions, an intensive in person seminar continued in the afternoon. The Ambassador of Japan to Australia, His Excellency Mr Shingo Yamagami, took part in the entire Dialogue and also generously hosted a reception in the evening.
The discussion during the day was wide ranging and frank. It included a diverse range of assessments of China’s international behaviour; the direction of China-Russia relations; the range of policy perspectives operating in Southeast Asian countries; and the likely future direction of Japan and Australia policy towards the Indo-Pacific.
The Dialogue was held under Chatham House Rules and included an impressive range of participants in addition to the lively contributions by Ambassador Yamagami. The Japan-based participants assembled by CSCAP Japan made an invaluable contribution. These participants included Ambassador Makio Miyagawa, Ambassador Masafumi Ishii, Professor Ken Jimbo, Professor Tsutomu Kikuchi, Associate Professor Chisako Masuo and Associate Professor Sanae Suzuki.
Australian participants in the morning’s virtual seminar were Mr Richard Maude, Ms Natasha Kassam, Emeritus Professor Hugh White, Dr Huong Le Thu and Mr John McCarthy.
In the follow-up discussions during the afternoon, Australia-based participants included leading specialists on both Japan and China as well as a range of prominent strategic analysts who have been focussing on Indo-Pacific developments. Participants came from SDSC, the Crawford School, AIIA, and the Lowy Institute. Officers of the Department of defence and DFAT also contributed to the discussion.