On Wednesday 21 August, the Australian Institute of International Affairs hosted an event on “Pacific Security in an Age of Great Power Rivalry.” The event consisted of two sessions, the first a breakfast session for guests invited from the diplomatic community, government departments and academia. After welcoming remarks by AIIA National President Allan Gyngell, Sonoura Kentaro, a special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, delivered a keynote speech. Australia’s former Ambassador to Japan John McCarthy then gave a response highlighting the close relationship between Japan and Australia and called for the two countries to work even closer together in fields like security, development and aid. AIIA National Executive Director Dr Bryce Wakefield then moderated a discussion between Sonoura and McCarthy on Japanese and Australian approaches to the Indo-Pacific.
After breakfast, proceedings continued with a roundtable, held under the Chatham House rule. Speakers from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands were asked to consider Pacific security within the context of three issue areas: 1) Security and Geo-politics in the Pacific; 2) Environment and Climate; and 3) Governance, Domestic Political Stability and Development.
Opening keynote speech by Sonoura Kentaro – Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision Now – moving from vision sharing to implementation
The AIIA National Office would like to thank all the participants who attended and spoke at our event on ‘Pacific Security in an Age of Great Rivalry’, which aimed to promote honest and frank discussion on shared challenges in the Pacific region.