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Japanese ambassador’s warning on Darwin port’s Chinese ownership

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Japan’s ambassador to Australia mentioned his nation would by no means enable a Chinese firm to personal a Japanese port, in a robust sign that Tokyo is uneasy in regards to the Northern Territory’s 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to Landbridge.

Ambassador Shingo Yamagami additionally rebutted solutions that the Australian authorities had mismanaged its relationship with China, saying Japan had endured Beijing’s commerce strikes and intervals of diplomatic hostility prior to now.

Japanese Ambassador Yamagami Shingo says deterrence is on the coronary heart of Australia’s and Japan’s deepening defence relationship.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The Department of Defence is reviewing the Northern Territory’s lease of the Port of Darwin to the Chinese-owned firm – a deal that has unsettled nationwide safety figures within the federal authorities because it was signed six years in the past.

“Could it happen in Japan? I cannot imagine the same to take place in ports like Sasebo or Yokosuka. I can’t imagine that,” Mr Yamagami informed the National Press Club in Canberra.

“But it’s a decision for the Australian government to make, so as the Japanese ambassador to Australia I am making a rule not to poke my nose into the domestic politics of both Australia and Japan.”

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed in May that cupboard’s nationwide safety committee had requested the Defence Department to assessment the territory authorities’s 99-year lease of the port to Landbridge in 2015.

This may consequence within the firm, owned by Chinese billionaire Ye Cheng, having to divest the strategically vital asset on nationwide safety grounds beneath vital infrastructure legal guidelines handed in 2018.

The relationship between China and Australia has deteriorated to its lowest degree in a long time over the previous 18 months with China imposing greater than $20 billion of commerce strikes on Australia after it referred to as for an impartial world inquiry into the outbreak of COVID-19.

Critics of the best way the federal authorities has dealt with the connection, together with the federal Opposition, have raised the case of Japan for example of a rustic which is vital of Beijing however nonetheless maintains excessive ranges of diplomatic engagement.

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