Japan says it will join the defense hotlines set up among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo made the announcement during a video conference with Brunei’s second defense minister Pehin Halbi on Tuesday.
Kishi conveyed Japan’s intention of making an active contribution to regional peace and stability.
The Defense Ministry says Japan is the second non-ASEAN member after Australia to join the hotlines.
The two ministers reaffirmed that their countries will speed up arrangements to sign a memorandum for bilateral defense cooperation.
Kishi and Pehin Halbi also agreed on boosting ties through joint defense exercises.
On regional issues, Kishi stressed the need to oppose attempts to unilaterally change the status quo, apparently referring to China’s increasing maritime activities.
He also indicated that North Korea’s ballistic missile launches are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and pose a serious challenge to the international community.