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Indo-Pacific

Japan nears defense access deal with quasi-ally Australia next year

Agreement would smooth way for joint drills as China flexes muscle

Japanese and Australian ships engage in a joint naval exercise in this photo provided by the Maritime Self-Defense Force.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan and Australia are preparing to sign a long-debated pact next year that would make it easier for each country's forces to enter the other for joint exercises, Nikkei has learned.

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