Japan has said its treaty with Britain aimed at facilitating joint military drills and strengthening defense cooperation will come into effect next month amid China's growing military clout in the Indo-Pacific region.

The enactment of their Reciprocal Access Agreement on Oct. 15 enables them to deploy their forces in each other's countries for exercises and disaster relief operations while also easing restrictions on the transportation of weapons and supplies.

For Japan, it is the second RAA following one with Australia that took effect in August. Tokyo has had a similar pact with the United States since 1960, called the Status of Forces Agreement.

The move followed the Japanese parliament's approval of the pact in April, along with the one involving Australia, to complete its domestic approval processes.

The deal was signed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart, Rishi Sunak, in London in January.

"We will enhance interoperability between the Japanese and British forces and deepen the two countries' defense cooperation by utilizing the agreement," Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, who took up the post in Wednesday's Cabinet reshuffle, told a news conference Friday.

The Ground Self-Defense Force and the British Army are set to hold joint training in Japan in November, which could be conducted under the new accord, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

Japan has been stepping up its efforts to reinforce security ties with like-minded countries to enhance deterrence against Beijing, which has become more militarily assertive in the East and South China seas.

Similar to the RAA with Australia, the treaty includes an appendix that gives Britain the authority to decline the transfer of its soldiers accused of crimes in Japan, which retains the death penalty, thus allowing them to avoid capital punishment.