Both Australia and Japan have clearly shifted away from Beijing and aligned with Washington.
But the two countries have not been able to banish their fear of U.S. abandonment, ever conscious that a future U.S. president may not be as committed to the region or as embracing of America's allies as the current White House occupant.
The two sides agreed to sign a reciprocal-access agreement at the earliest possible opportunity. The agreement will make it easier for ADF soldiers to move freely in Japan and vice versa.
Quietly surfacing in the Indo-Pacific is a handful of new groupings of middle powers. They include an initiative between Japan, India, and Australia to achieve supply-chain resilience in the Indo-Pacific region while reducing trade dependence on China.
Another is the Australia-India-Indonesia trilateral dialogue addressing a wide range of topics, including illegal fishing and counterterrorism.
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