Intensifying Australia–Japan bilateral security relations reflect an important trend in alliance politics. Smaller and middle power allies are cooperating with each other more directly on key strategic issues. Five years after the signing of the Australia– Japan Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, these two US allies are collaborating on a wide array of traditional and non-traditional security issues, bilaterally, regionally and globally. This is an important trend in contemporary Asian geopolitics as historical power shifts in this region unfold. The authors assess the key factors underlying such cooperation and the policy challenges that could impede it. Australian and Japanese experts offer critical insights into why their two countries – traditionally the two key 'spokes' in the US bilateral alliance network spanning Asia – are moving towards a distinct security relationship in their own right.
William T. Tow and Rikki Kersten (eds), 2012, Bilateral Perspectives on Regional Security: Australia, Japan and the Asia-Pacific Region. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan