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Japan, U.S. defense chiefs may meet in Brunei

Kyodo

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera is arranging to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Aug. 28 on the sidelines of ASEAN-related meetings in Brunei, a government source said Wednesday.

The Japanese and U.S. defense chiefs are expected to discuss a review of bilateral defense cooperation guidelines while affirming a stronger security alliance amid concern about China’s growing maritime assertiveness, the source said.

At the meeting, Tokyo also hopes to gather detailed information about the Monday talks between Hagel and Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan in Washington.

Additionally, Onodera may explain the progress of the national debate on whether to lift Japan’s self-imposed ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense, or defending an ally under armed attack, according to the source.

Onodera is also arranging to meet with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin in Brunei on the sidelines of meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.