US-Japan-Australia Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting 2023

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon. Richard Marles MP, Japanese Minister of Defense Hamada Yasukazu, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III, convened a Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on June 3, 2023 during the 20th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit (2023 Shangri-La Dialogue) in Singapore.

This was the twelfth meeting among the defense leaders of the three nations and highlighted the significant progress made in implementing activities and practical areas of cooperation set forth in the 2022 Joint Statement.

The Ministers welcomed and acknowledged the significance of each country’s strategic documents issued this past year, confirming the alignment of their strategies and the important role that the trilateral partnership plays in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The Ministers highlighted that trilateral defense cooperation has never been stronger, and noted advances in the complexity of our trilateral cooperation and growing trilateral coordination at all levels.

The Ministers committed to continue enhancing defense cooperation among the three countries across the following areas:

Trilateral Activities and Exercises: 

  • Conduct trilateral F-35 Joint Strike Fighter training in Australia.
  • Increase complex and high-end trilateral exercises in northern Australia such as Exercise SOUTHERN JACKAROO to enhance readiness.
  • Regularize Asset Protection Missions for the U.S. Forces and the Australian Defence Force by Japan Self-Defense Forces.
  • Accelerate and deepen trilateral information-sharing cooperation.
  • Continue trilateral policy and strategy dialogues on regional issues.

Expanded Cooperation:  

  • Seek to conclude a trilateral Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) framework at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • Boost strategic capabilities cooperation across multiple domains, including in integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and undersea warfare.

Inclusive Partnerships:  

  • Further deepen engagement with ASEAN Member States (including through the ADMM-Plus framework), Pacific island countries, European countries and like-minded partners and allies to uphold and reinforce free and open international norms in every region in the world.
  • Coordinate capacity building engagements with regional partners.
  • Work in complement with Pacific partners in addressing the challenge of unexploded ordnance.

The Ministers affirm that trilateral cooperation is essential to maintain democratic values, transparency and respect for international norms, and expressed their firm determination to keep the Indo-Pacific region as a free, open, secure, and prosperous region while continuing to expand the scope of defense cooperation.


Image Courtesy: