Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press) — The Japanese and British governments are slated to hold “two-plus-two” ministerial security talks in Tokyo on April 8, informed sources said Friday.
Tokyo is also arranging for such talks with Washington ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Japan visit from May 26, the sources said.
The two-plus-two security dialogue frameworks with Britain and the United States are “crucially important for maintaining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Friday.
In the upcoming talks, the Japanese foreign and defense ministers are expected to exchange views with their British and U.S. counterparts about China’s ongoing military buildup and international efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
Japan and Britain agreed at a bilateral summit in January to hold their fourth two-plus-two meeting this spring. The last meeting was held in December 2017.
The forthcoming session is set to cover the issue of preventing U.N. sanctions-evading seaborne smuggling by North Korea. The Royal Navy of Britain is participating in related surveillance missions.
The Japanese and British ministers are also expected to discuss a proposed pact on the legal status of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the British military when they operate in each other’s country.
The Japanese and U.S. governments, meanwhile, will hold a two-plus-two meeting for the first time since August 2017, with the agenda likely to include the Japan-sponsored Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Tokyo’s procurement of U.S. defense equipment.