Japanese troops will take part in a major U.S.-Australian -military exercise for the first time in July, as Washington looks to bolster links among its allies.
Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) - its army - will send 40 personnel to -participate in Talisman Saber, a two-yearly drill that begins on July 7, which will involve 27,000 servicemen, a spokesman said.
"We will participate in joint exercises with the U.S. Marines, rather than operating directly with the Australian military," he said.
"But our participation is seen as part of efforts" to strengthen defense ties between Japan and Australia, he added.
The drill in Australia is -intended "to improve tactical -expertise in amphibian operations and to strengthen Japan-U.S. -interoperability," an army statement said.
China said it is not concerned about whether or not the drill is aimed at China.
"The Chinese side believes that relevant countries should play a positive and -constructive role in enhancing mutual trust and cooperation between -regional countries," China's foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a news briefing Tuesday. "It is hoped that all parties would contribute positive energy to regional peace, stability and development."
Washington and Tokyo have been working to cement -security ties. In July last year, the U.S., -India and Japan held week-long war games in the Pacific.