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International relations

Japan defense pacts with U.K. and Australia move closer to approval

Troop visits and training facilitated with 'quasi-allies' as Chinese threat looms

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center left, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, center right, signed a reciprocal access agreement in January.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's cabinet on Tuesday approved defense agreements and related legislation with the U.K. and Australia to smooth the way for closer cooperation that Tokyo hopes will strengthen deterrence against China.

"These hold great significance by facilitating joint exercises and disaster relief operations between the Self-Defense Forces and both countries," Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told a news conference. The government aims to have parliament approve the pacts in the current session.

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