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Japan, U.S. to hold virtual “2+2” meeting on Jan. 7

NHK reported at noon that the GOJ announced today that Japan and the United States will hold a virtual “2+2” meeting of foreign and defense ministers on Friday morning Japan time. The network said that although the two governments were planning to hold an in-person meeting in Washington, they decided to hold it virtually in view of the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. The network said Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin, Foreign Minister Hayashi, and Defense Minister Kishi are expected to exchange views on bilateral security and defense cooperation as well as cooperation toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific, and also confirm Japan’s increased share of the cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan. The network added that the GOJ is hoping to further deepen bilateral security cooperation by acknowledging common security challenges, including concerns over China’s maritime advancement, the importance of a peaceful and stable Taiwan Strait, and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

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