Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrive at Narashino exercise field in Funabashi, east of Tokyo, Japan January 18, 2018. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
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The prime ministers of Japan and Australia toured a military training ground outside Tokyo Thursday, as the two countries seek to bolster defense ties in the face of the North Korean crisis.Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are hoping to thrash out a security agreement on joint defense operations and exercises, with one eye also on China as it expands its naval ambitions.Diplomats are putting the finishing touches to the proposed defence pact, which would be the first of its kind for Japan and would make Australia Tokyo's closest military partner after the United States.China's steady expansion of its military and economic influence in Asia Pacific has also encouraged Japan and Australia to draw closer militarily.
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