Japan involves itself for the first time in the massive military joint exercise between Australia and The United States after the territorial tensions with China started to rise.

The two-week “Talisman Sabre” exercise in the Northern Territory and Queensland involves 30,000 personnel from the US and Australia practising operations at sea, in the air and on land.14-0718-RB-TP-9630

About 40 personnel from Japan’s army – the Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) – will join the American contingent, while more than 500 troops from New Zealand are also involved in the exercise, which concludes on July 21.

“It is a very, very important alliance,” the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said on Friday in Sydney on board the USS Blue Ridge, which is taking part in the exercise, referring to Australia-US ties.

“It’s a very important relationship and right now we are facing quite significant challenges in many parts of the world, but particularly in the Middle East.”

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jul/05/japan-joins-us-australia-war-games-in-nt-and-queensland-amid-china-tensions