It is understood Mr Abbott told Mr Abe he agreed with Japan's defensive enhancements and wanted to see the world's third largest economy also take a more active role in global security.
Mr Abbott arrived in Brunei on Wednesday after departing Bali, Indonesia, where he attended a ceremony at the Bali Memorial for the victims of the 2002 and 2005 bombings.
His comments about Japan may raise eyebrows in Beijing and in Indonesia where he repeatedly said Jakarta was Canberra's most important relationship.
Mr Abbott was also due to meet with the leaders of South Korea and the Philippines while in Brunei.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-says-japan-is-australias-closest-friend-in-asia-20131009-2v8ty.html#ixzz2hGlSSh3Y
Meanwhile at the porkies' front...
You can't deny that the Abbott Government has hit the ground running. Their increase in productivity has been quite breathtaking. Usually it takes a few months for a new government to become comedic punch line, but the Abbott Government has been able to achieve this level before Parliament has even sat!
This spring at weddings around the country, the probability of a best man's speech including a joke about claiming travel expenses must be close to 1. As Paula Matthewson has noted, it is a rather similar situation to the first year of the Howard government where seven ministers were sacked for breaches of Howard's "Code of Ministerial Conduct". Tony Abbott, however, won't sack anyone because the ministers involved are far too senior for Abbott to have the gumption, or the authority, to discipline them in any meaningful way. Barnaby Joyce, Julie Bishop and George Brandis are pretty well untouchable.
Moreover, Mr Abbott can hardly sack anyone given he announced on Monday that last week he repaid expenses he had claimed to attend Peter Slipper's wedding (Alanis Morissette can rest easy, finally there was a wedding day that was ironic).
But it all paints a picture that nicely captures this first period of the Abbott Government - one where things done and said while in opposition have come back to bite them.
The favourite surely has been the "stop the boats" line which has changed more to stopping the flow, taking the sugar off the table and going to Indonesia and engaging in what has been very (very) charitably reported by some as a diplomatic success or a "strategic retreat". It involved Mr Abbott pretty much ignoring the issue in his talks with the Indonesian president, despite it once having been so front and centre.
I guess it must have slipped his mind.
The Federal Opposition has accused the Government of pandering to xenophobia and pursuing likely fruitless negotiations with China on a free trade deal.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott travelled to Indonesia and Brunei this week, where he set a one-year target to secure such a deal.
Mr Abbott has made his progress on the agreement a centrepiece of his international diplomatic efforts abroad.
But the Opposition's trade spokesman Richard Marles has told Lateline the deal will not be struck unless the Coalition dumps a plan to tighten regulation on foreign investment.
"It will be impossible for the Abbott Government to conclude a free trade agreement with China, so long as they take a position of reducing the threshold in relation to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)," he said.
The man most responsible for putting Australia on a collision course with Indonesia over the issue of asylum seekers has been allowed to claim credit for restoring calm, writes Jonathan Green.
Stand still long enough and Australian politics will run rings round you, confound you with its endless convolutions, and amaze with its capacity for constant confident reinvention totally detached from history, logic and conscience.
We're talking about the Prime Minister's trip to Indonesia - obviously - a venture judged approvingly on Mr Abbott's return by Paul Kelly in The Australian:
On display now is Abbott as pragmatist. He says his policy is about results, not process. Abbott spelt out his new universal rule: what counts is working with Indonesia to stop the boats. By implication, he will modify policy and process to achieve that goal.
Gus: Yep... Abbott is a pyromaniac in the bush-fire brigade... The goal is to appear to extinguish a fire... so the pyromaniac will set one up to have to do something — have a "goal"... and use the hose between his legs...
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