As China increases its assertiveness in trade and security in Asia, it has become essential for Japan, Australia and the United States to create a united front to counter Beijing.

If the three nations, which share common basic values and strategic interests, work together on fields including security, energy and economy, it will be beneficial for the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. With the U.S. already a security ally, strengthening ties with Australia should be Japan’s top priority.

Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, is a small city with a population of about 150,000, but it hosts the U.S. Marine Rotational Force, as well as two liquefied natural gas (LNG) production plants involving Japanese firms.