Japan said Tuesday a treaty with Australia to facilitate joint drills and strengthen security cooperation will take effect Sunday, with the two countries seeking to address China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement is set to facilitate quicker deployment of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and Australian Defense Force personnel, much like Tokyo's existing Status of Forces Agreement with the United States does.

The deal, signed in January 2022 as Japan's first RAA, will also ease restrictions on the transportation of weapons and supplies for joint exercises and disaster relief operations.

The move came after the Japanese parliament in April approved legislation for the pact, along with one with Britain, to complete its domestic approval processes.

Through the security agreements, Japan aims to boost security ties with the United States and other like-minded countries to enhance deterrence against Beijing, which has become more militarily assertive in the Indo-Pacific region.

Agreeing to start talks on the RAA in 2014, Japan and Australia reached a broad agreement in November 2020. However, Japan's adherence to the death penalty system delayed finalization, as Canberra, having abolished capital punishment, urges other countries to do the same.

An appendix to the accord allows Australia the discretion to refuse the transfer of its soldiers accused of crimes in Japan, thereby preventing potential death sentences.

Japan and Britain concluded an RAA in January this year, but London has yet to finish its domestic procedures for its implementation.