On 31 March, the Australian Embassy commemorated the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force. To mark this occasion, Ambassador Jan Adams AO PSM and Defence Attache GPCAPT Sonja Halloran hosted the Chief of Staff, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, General IZUTSU Shunji and a small group of other current and former members of the Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) in the garden of the Australian Embassy.
Australia’s Special Strategic Partnership with Japan has continued to deepen and broaden over time and this is clearly demonstrated through the relationship between the Royal Australian Air Force and the Koku-Jieitai. Just 10 years ago, the RAAF flew its C-17 fleet to Japan to assist during the Great East Japan Earthquake. In January 2020, at the height of the devastating Australian bushfires, the Koku-Jieitai deployed two C-130 aircraft to transport equipment and personnel vital to our bushfire response.
Ambassador Adams said “Australia’s defence cooperation with Japan has continued despite the challenges of COVID-19 and on this day we were able to remember our past achievements and look forward to our future endeavours. We thank all members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces who have worked with us over the years and we look forward to deepening our relationship over the next 100 years.”