As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's four-day visit to Australia begins on Monday, one country will be keeping extra close tabs on announcements coming out of the trip: China.
Abe's visit to Australia - the first by a Japanese prime minister since 2002 - comes days after the Japanese cabinet lifted a 60-year-old ban on "collective self-defense" to allow its military to aid allies such as Australia and the U.S. if they come under armed attack.
Read MoreJapan to drop ban on self-defense
"Japan is seeking deeper alliances as it is beset by Chinese confidence and assertiveness," Kerry Brown, director, China Studies Center at University of Sydney told CNBC, discussing Abe's agenda in Australia.
"China will watch any statements by Abe and Abbott that come out of the visit carefully. They will pay particular attention to the language used about the nature of Japan-Australia security relations, and any unity between the two on their approach to China," he said.