Yomiuri wrote that Defense Minister Iwaya held talks with his visiting Canadian counterpart Sajjan at the ministry on Monday, noting that in a joint communique released afterward, the two officials voiced “serious concern” about the situation in the South and East China Seas apparently with China’s maritime advancement in mind. At the outset of the meeting, the Canadian official said defense cooperation between Tokyo and Ottawa “has entered a new stage.” They reportedly agreed to ensure that the Indo-Pacific region is free and open, increase joint military training, and achieve the denuclearization of North Korea. While pointing out that this was the first trip to Japan by the top Canadian defense official in 13 years, the article said the Canadian military is expected to dispatch to Japan later this month an airplane and warship to rejoin international efforts to crack down on illicit trafficking involving DPRK vessels in the East China Sea. The paper added that an acquisition and cross servicing agreement between the two nations will take effect next month or later.
NHK reported on Monday evening on an interview with the Canadian defense minister earlier in the day in which he said that North Korea is employing new ways to engage in illegal ship-to-ship transfers at new locations, pointing out the importance of responding to such activities. He also cited China’s important role in resolving the North Korea issue and criticized its military activities in the South China Sea.