SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore and Japan signed an enhanced memorandum on defence exchanges that identifies new areas of cooperation, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement yesterday.
These areas include logistics support, exchanges on defence technology, protection against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Explosive (CBRE) threats, strategic communications and maritime security, MINDEF said.
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and Japan Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi signed the agreement on the sidelines of the Shangri-la Dialogue.
The Memorandum on Defence Exchanges was first signed in 2009 between then-Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean and his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa.
The original agreement formalised defence interactions between both defence establishments, such as exchange of visits by defence officials, conduct of policy dialogues and military staff talks, as well as the cross-attendance of courses and seminars. The 2009 deal also allowed both countries to broaden defence cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and peace support operations.
Yesterday, Singapore and Japan also announced the commencement of negotiations on an agreement concerning the transfer of defence equipment and technology.
The agreement will establish a legal framework for the import and export of defence equipment and technology between the two countries, but does not oblige either party to sell or buy equipment from the other party, MINDEF said.
MINDEF added that the agreement is in fulfilment of Japan’s requirements regarding the export of defence equipment and technologies from Japan, noting that other ASEAN countries have signed it.
Both countries will also advance regional cooperation in a multilateral setting such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, MINDEF added.