According to The Nikkei Asian Review today, Japan and Australia are making the final preparations for the new Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's visit to Japan in mid-December, said government sources from the two countries.
Turnbull's planned visit to Japan ahead of China and South Korea appears intended to highlight Canberra's emphasis on bilateral ties between Japan and Australia. His first official overseas visit was to New Zealand in mid-October.
Turnbull is barely one month into the position, having ousted Tony Abbott as leader of the ruling Liberal Party in mid-September. According to Japan's Foreign Affairs Ministry, the planned trip will be Turnbull's first official visit to Japan.
Prior to entering politics, Turnbull had investment concerns in a mine development project in China and his daughter-in-law comes from a prominent Chinese family. Pundits have been interested to see if his perceived affinity with the country might lead to stronger ties with China, in sharp contrast to his predecessor who was known for his pro-Japan stance.
Thus, a Japan visit early in his tenure as could be seen as a way to dispel any suggestions of a shift toward greater emphasis on relations with China.
At the summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Turnbull will likely discuss ways to strengthen trade and investment ties between the two countries after a bilateral economic partnership agreement came into effect in January this year.
The two leaders are widely expected to reaffirm security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. They are also likely to talk about Japan's bid to win the contract to build Australia's next submarine fleet.
Turnbull also plans to meet with Japanese business leaders during his visit.
If you want to read this article in Japanese, please see the following link:
Subscribe to our English Newsletter