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ADF joins US, Japan military exercise for first time

Military co-operation between Australia, the United States and Japan has been bolstered by defence force personnel joining Exercise Keen Edge in the Pacific.

The Australian Defence Force has joined a US and Japanese military exercise for the first time as the three nations work more closely together in the Indo-Pacific. 

Members of the ADF joined their counterparts in Hawaii and mainland Japan for Exercise Keen Edge, which aims to streamline military manoeuvres between the three nations.

The exercise tests combat readiness and communications in different locations. 

Australia's participation was announced during last year's defence ministers meeting between Richard Marles and Japan's Kihara Minoru.

"This is another example of our commitment to strengthening security cooperation and working with others, including the United States, to support regional stability," Mr Marles said. 

The trilateral exercise reinforced Australia's commitment to regional security, Chief of Joint Operations Greg Bilton said.  

"The Australia-Japan relationship is underpinned by engagement and collaboration across all aspects of defence and we are actively strengthening our commitment to security cooperation," Lieutenant General Bilton said.

It follows Australian troops joining Exercise Yama Sakura in December, also for the first time. 

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