Australia

'ScoMo' receives warm welcome in Japan

Australian PM Scott Morrison has met with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe ahead of the G20. (AAP)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe ahead of the G20 meeting in Osaka.

The warm relationship between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe was on display as they met ahead of the G20.

Mr Abe twice used the prime minister's nickname "ScoMo" in welcoming him to Japan, and spoke of the countries' close ties.

"We have a special strategic partnership with Australia; we must promote that forcefully so that we can cooperate for the realisation of a free and open Indo-Pacific," Mr Abe said.

He also welcomed Mr Morrison's major foreign policy speech earlier this week, in which the prime minister said Australia would not stand by while the trade tensions between the US and China damage the global economy.

While the pair met in Darwin and at the G20 in Argentina as leaders last year, this is Mr Morrison's first trip to Japan as prime minister.

He said he was pleased to return the support Japan gave Australia when the G20 was hosted in Brisbane in 2014.

"I particularly want to thank the prime minister for your support in relation to the combating terrorism on the internet ... initiative and your support in allowing that agenda to come through into the meeting," Mr Morrison said.

"We look forward to what we might be able to achieve in that area."

Mr Morrison wrote to Mr Abe soon after the live-streamed Christchurch mosque massacre in March with a proposal to use the G20 to make social media companies crack down on violent extremists using their platforms.

That has become a formal item for discussion at the second leaders' session once the summit begins on Friday.

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