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Japan, US eye 2-plus-2 talks in January

Japan and the United States are arranging to hold talks of their foreign and defense ministers in early January in Washington.

 

Japanese government sources say coordination is being made for Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo to hold a “two plus two” meeting on January 7 with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

 

The Japanese government hopes to use the planned meeting to deepen bilateral security cooperation.

 

Japanese officials want to share concerns with the US over China’s increasing maritime activities and reaffirm the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

 

The officials plan to confirm that Japan will shoulder more of the costs of stationing US troops in the country.

 

Japan also hopes to discuss global challenges including the coronavirus pandemic and climate change and show a united response with the US to those issues.

 

In March in Tokyo, Japan and the US held their first “two plus two” meeting since President Joe Biden took office.

 

They had considered holding another round by the end of this year. But the Japanese sources say it is now difficult to do so because both countries have political scheduling problems.

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