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article imageThe Rebirth of the (British) Empire

By Chikako Uchinami     Jul 6, 2014 in World
Canberra - When the Japanese Government announced the reinterpretation of Article 9 last week, many feared a resurgence of Empire. Today, Japan and Australia revealed that the Empire in question is British.
Sources in Japan have revealed that Australia and Japan are discussing a new Bilateral Defense Agreement for mutual co-operation during disaster relief operations and joint military exercises.
The agreement, called a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), is a type of agreement Japan has never signed with any other country. It will allow Royal Australian Forces and the JSDF to come to each other's aid in time of natural disaster or military conflict. It will supplement the existing Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement.
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting with his counterpart Tony Abbott on Tuesday. A joint statement announcing the agreement is expected to be released then.
The long-term Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, and the Agreement Regarding the Status of the United Nations Forces in Japan are similar in intent, but VFA's in contrast are intended to resolve legal issues arising from short-term operations in other countries, as opposed to long-term occupation operations. Australia has a similar agreement with the Philippines.
US and Australian Forces visible presence in the Pacific can deter aggression, confidential sources in Japan say. Respect for the territorial integrity of all nations is of paramount importance for the maintenance of peace in the region.
Japan has a longstanding Special Relationship with the British Commonwealth, going back as far as the 17th Century when the English Samurai known as Anjinsan first arrived in Japan. He is considered to be the Father of the Japanese Navy, and Japan remained a steadfast ally of the UK throughout the First World War- with a short break taken mid-20th century.
The only Imperial action taking place in the Pacific this week is a reaffirmation of the Pax Britannica that has maintained peace in the region for seven decades. It is the sincere desire of all parties concerned that this peace shall long endure.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Updated: Australia, Japan Sign Defense Deal - 9:01 AM Tuesday, July 8, 2014 UTC
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