India, Japan, the United States and Australia will hold the Malabar navy exercise off the coast of Sydney on Friday, the first time the war games previously held in the Indian Ocean have taken place in Australia, Report informs via Reuters.

Japanese and Indian navy vessels stopped in Pacific Island countries Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea on the way to Sydney, highlighting the strategic importance of the region at a time of friction between China and the United States.

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander of the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, said at a press conference on Thursday in Sydney the exercise was “not pointed toward any one country” and would improve the ability of the four forces to work with each other.

“The deterrence that our four nations provide as we operate together as a Quad is a foundation for all the other nations operating in this region,” Thomas said.