Two Air Self-Defense Force F-35A fighter jets have arrived at a military base in Australia for training, marking the first time Japan has deployed the aircraft overseas, the Australian Defense Department said Monday.

The move comes as the two nations seek to boost security ties amid China's growing military assertiveness in the region and marks the first activity under a new agreement to facilitate reciprocal access and cooperation between their defense forces.

Australia was the first country to sign a Reciprocal Access Agreement with Japan, which outlines rules for weapon transportation during joint exercises and disaster relief operations in both nations. This agreement is similar to Japan's parallel arrangement with its security ally, the United States, known as the Status of Forces Agreement.

The two F-35s arrived at the Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal in northern Australia on Saturday, along with a contingent of 55 personnel from the ASDF, according to the Australian Defense Department.

The exercises, which started on Aug. 21, will take place through Saturday.

Australian Defense Secretary Greg Moriarty called the deployment of the Japanese stealth fighter jets a "significant milestone" in the bilateral relationship, according to the department.

"Australia is honored to be chosen as the destination for Japan's first international deployment of its F-35As," Moriarty said.

A ceremony commemorating the first drills under the Reciprocal Access Agreement was held on Monday at Base Tindal, with Japan's Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs Kiyoshi Serizawa among those in attendance.

Australia will reciprocate the visit by the Japanese side in September, when six F-35A aircraft will be deployed to Japan for the joint air combat exercise Bushido Guardian 2023, according to Moriarty.