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U.S. cements 'game-changing' defense ties with Australia, Japan

Pentagon welcomes new security pact as allies plan fighter training this month

Japan's Self-Defense Forces take part in a new year joint military drill among Japan, the U.S., Britain and Australia at Narashino exercise field in Funabashi, east of Tokyo, on Jan. 8.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/SYDNEY -- The U.S. is counting on its most trusted Indo-Pacific allies -- Japan and Australia -- to engage in "game-changing" defense cooperation amid growing concerns posed by China, following a new security deal between Canberra and Tokyo.

The Reciprocal Access Agreement between Australia and Japan came into force on Sunday.  It eases the burden of conducting joint military training and exercises in each country by relaxing immigration control for troops and simplifying procedures for transporting weapons and ammunition.

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