Japan, France to hold security talks in mid-March


Japan and France are making final arrangements to hold a meeting of their foreign and defense ministers in Tokyo in mid-March, sources close to bilateral relations said Friday.

The ministers are expected to confirm cooperation in the fight against terrorism, as France suffered terrorist attacks in January that left 17 people dead and Japan was hit by a hostage crisis that saw two Japanese citizens killed by the Islamic State group.

During the second round of the so-called two-plus-two meeting to be held around March 13, the ministers will likely discuss steps to share intelligence to block foreign fighters from traveling, and stem the spread of extremism among young people, the sources said.

The ministers will likely agree on a pact to jointly develop defense equipment such as an unmanned underwater vehicle for warning and surveillance activities, according to the sources.