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.
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.”