Shinzo Abe became the first prime minister of Japan to visit Darwin since the Australian city was bombed by Japanese forces in World War II, as he and his Australian counterpart spoke yesterday of strengthening defence and other ties between their countries.
Abe’s one-night stay was described by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a deeply symbolic one.
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It was also another chance for Japan and Australia to present a united front as regional partners in the Asia-Pacific amid ongoing concerns of spreading Chinese influence, including the country’s building of islands in the disputed South China Sea.
“Australia and Japan also stand united on the importance of resolving disputes in the South China Sea,” Mr Morrison said.