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Australia neutral on Japan's territorial disputes with China


08:42, January 14, 2013

SYDNEY, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Australia's foreign minister met with his visiting Japanese counterpart Sunday, kicking off talks including responses to regional security issues, according to the nation's foreign ministry spokesman.

"Today's talks will include responses to issues such as North Korean rocket tests which endangers Japan, South Korea and the wider region," Australian Foreign Ministry spokesman told journalists in Sydney.

Fumio Kishida, on his first overseas visit since his appointment as Japanese foreign minister, met with Australia's Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr on Sunday.

"Amid the changing strategic relationship within the Asia- Pacific region, securing co-operation from ASEAN countries and Australia is important to maintain and ensure peace and stability in this region," Mr Kishida told journalists in Tokyo last week.

However, Australia has resolutely avoided any involvement in territorial disputes and will certainly resist any Japanese attempts at being drawn into possible conflicts involving Australia's leading economic partner China.

Separately, Kishida met with Australia's Resources Martin Minister Ferguson to bolster bilateral ties and improve cooperation in trade and security.

Kishida's trip which also includes The Philippines, Singapore and Brunei is in line with new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's moves to strengthen relations with Australia, India and ASEAN nations.

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