Prime Minister Tony Abbott has invited Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to make a historic address to both houses of Australia's parliament.
Tony Abbott has described Japan as Australia's "best friend in Asia", while also extending an invitation for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to make a historic address to the parliament.
Stressing the importance of the strategic partnership between the two nations, Mr Abbott also expressed support for Japan's determination to make an increased contribution to international peace and security.
"As far as I'm concerned, Japan is Australia's best friend in Asia and we want to keep it a very strong friendship," Mr Abbott told Mr Abe, before the talks were closed to the media.
Mr Abbott will visit Japan in the first half of next year, in what represents a recalibration of Australia's foreign policy focus, after criticism of former prime minister Kevin Rudd for his decision to visit China instead of Japan in his first major overseas trip in 2008.
It's understood Mr Abbott also expressed support for Japan making an increased contribution to international peace and security; and that the time had come for Japan to be a "normal country" operating under the same rules that other nations operate.
Mr Abbott told Mr Abe that he hoped the Japanese prime minister would visit Australia at "an early opportunity".
It would be the first state visit to Australia by a Japanese leader in 11 years.
Mr Abe told Mr Abbott he also wanted to reinvigorate the relationship.
"I myself attach importance to the relationship with your country, a country (which) shares basic values and strategic interests with Japan," Mr Abe said.
"By working hand-in-hand with you, Prime Minister Abbott, I would like to elevate our strategic partnership ... and bring this relationship to a new phase." Mr Abe's address before a joint sitting of the parliament would be the first by a Japanese prime minister, with Mr Abbott's invitation extending one previously offered to Mr Abe by former prime minister John Howard.
Mr Abe had been set to address the parliament in September 2007, but was forced to cancel his visit amid political upheaval at home.
He resigned as prime minister on September 12, 2007, the day after the address was scheduled, but was re-elected to lead Japan in December last year.
The two leaders also discussed the regional dispute over the South China Sea, military cooperation, as well as efforts to progress negotiations on a free trade agreement, which first began in 2007 when Mr Abe was in power.
The two leaders also expressed strong support for the United States' so-called pivot to Asia.
Mr Abbott, who arrived in the tiny nation of Brunei on Wednesday following the APEC summit in Bali, was also held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
Mr Abbott was also expected to have formal one-on-one meetings with Korean President Park Geun-hye, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Bilateral talks with the Philippines were cancelled due to time constraints.
US President Barack Obama cancelled his attendance at the summit because of the US government shutdown.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his foreign minister in his place despite just visiting nearby Bali for APEC.