Japanese troops will be able to conduct military exercises more easily in Australia under an agreement Malcolm Turnbull is hoping to cement next week during his visit to Tokyo.
The prime minister will visit Japan on Thursday for an annual leaders’ dialogue with his counterpart Shinzo Abe.
The visit is Mr Turnbull’s first overseas trip since his government released its foreign policy white paper last year and coincides with a tense period in Australia’s relationship with China.
Beijing this week lodged an official protest with Australia’s embassy after International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells criticised China’s assistance to tiny Pacific island nations as building “white elephant” projects and “roads to nowhere”.
However, the ongoing threat of North Korea’s nuclear testing program is expected to dominate the agenda.