Japanese Prime Minister Suga says broad settlement has been reached on the army pact with Australia

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that Japan and Australia had reached a comprehensive deal on their bilateral defense pact.

Known as the Mutual Access Agreement, the pact is a legal framework that allows their troops to visit each other's countries and conduct training and joint operations.

Suga made the comments during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visiting Tokyo.

The countries have been negotiating the defense agreement for years to strengthen their security ties as China increases its influence in the region. The agreement has yet to be ratified by the legislature.

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