CANBERRA, Australia, July 8 (UPI) -- Australia and Japan are strengthening cooperation in the areas of defense science and technology under a new bilateral agreement.
The accord -- formally named the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology -- was signed Tuesday in Canberra by the prime ministers of the two countries.
Australian leaders called it "an important milestone."
"This Agreement is an important milestone in Australia's defense relationship with Japan and will underpin broader efforts to deepen our practical defense engagement," said Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Australia and Japan in 2007 had signed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. The countries first cooperative defense science and technology project under the new accord will be the Marine Hydrodynamics Project by Australia's Defense Science and Technology Organization and Japan's Technical Research and Development Institute.
"Japan is a country world renowned for its defense science and technology capabilities," said Australian Defense Minister David Johnston. "The Marine Hydrodynamics Project is a welcome first step in defense science, technology and materiel cooperation for Australia and Japan."
Details on the project were not immediately available.