Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told Australia's parliament that he wants the 2 countries and their common ally, the United States, to strengthen security cooperation.
Abe -- now on a tour of Oceania -- delivered a speech in the Australian House of Representatives on Tuesday. He is the first Japanese prime minister to do so.
Abe said at the outset that after World War Two, the Japanese people "thought long and hard over what happened in the past, and came to make a vow for peace." He said that vow is still fully alive today and will never change, going forward. He stressed that there's no question at all about this point.
Abe said there are many things Japan and Australia can do together, by joining hands with their common ally, the United States.
He said Japan is now working to change its legal basis for security, so it can act jointly with other countries in as many ways as possible. Abe said he wants to make Japan "a country that is all the more willing to contribute to peace in the region and beyond."
Abe's cabinet last week approved a reinterpretation of the war-renouncing Constitution, to allow the nation to act in collective self-defense with countries with which it has close ties.
In his speech, Abe also called on Australia to work with Japan to make the seas -- from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian -- and the skies over them, open and free. Abe was apparently mindful of China's increasing maritime ambitions.
Jul. 8, 2014 - Updated 03:37 UTC