Defence minister embarks on tour of Asia

Christopher Pyne will visit Japan and China this week to meet with defence officials.
Christopher Pyne will visit Japan and China this week to meet with defence officials.

Australia's defence minister is embarking on a whistlestop tour of key Asian nations for talks on regional peace and security.

Christopher Pyne will first visit Japan to meet with defence officials and industry representatives, with the minister keen to explore the prospect of working together on research and development projects.

Mr Pyne will then travel to China to discuss regional security and bilateral issues.

"The government is committed to maintaining a long-term constructive relationship with China, founded on shared interests and mutual respect," he said on Monday.

"China and Australia's success will go hand-in-hand."

The threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons program is likely to be raised.

Mr Pyne will cap off his regional tour with a visit to Singapore, meeting the country's prime minister and defence minister, and delivering a keynote address on security challenges facing the Indo-Pacific.

Australian Associated Press