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Australia, Japan Agree Need for UN Response to N. Korea Launch

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Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Japan and Australia agreed on the need for the United Nations Security Council to deliver an effective response to North Korea’s rocket launch in December, at a meeting of their foreign ministers today.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian counterpart Bob Carr agreed to step up cooperation on UN peacekeeping, nuclear non-proliferation and to push forward an arms trade treaty to reduce weapons supplied to rogue states and terrorist groups, according to a joint statement released today.

Japan and Australia, in the midst of negotiating a free-trade agreement, are strong allies of the U.S., which under President Barack Obama is “pivoting” its military strength toward the Asia-Pacific from the Middle East. The U.S. and Australia have agreed to hold joint military exercises with Japan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Perth in November after a meeting with senior Australian government ministers, including Carr.

The Sydney visit is the last leg of Kishida’s first international tour since being appointed foreign minister by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month. In the past week he’s been to the Philippines, where he discussed his nation’s territorial disputes with China, as well as Singapore and Brunei.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jason Scott in Canberra at jscott14@bloomberg.net; Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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