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Japan, Australia push for defense pact, PMs visit training ground near Tokyo

The prime ministers of Japan and Australia toured a military training ground outside Tokyo on Thursday, AFP reported. The two countries are seeking to bolster defense ties in the face of the North Korean crisis. Malcolm Turnbull and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, are hoping to thrash out a security agreement on joint defense operations and exercises, with one eye also on China. Diplomats are reportedly putting the finishing touches to the proposed defense pact. It will be the first of its kind for Japan and would make Australia Tokyo’s closest military partner after the US.