• Kyodo News

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Japan and the United States are looking to strengthen space and cyberspace cooperation as new strategic goals, bilateral sources said Friday.

Both governments are also expected to codify cooperation in intelligence-gathering, surveillance activities and reconnaissance when the “two-plus-two” meeting involving their foreign and defense leaders convenes this spring, the sources added.

The move apparently reflects concerns by Tokyo and Washington over China’s military buildup, although they will refrain from making pointed references to the country.

The plan also calls for joint emphasis on the need to reinforce bilateral defenses via enriched military exercises and missile defenses to increase preparedness and ensure maritime security, and add South Korea and Australia to the military equation, the sources said.

The renewal of common strategic goals was confirmed by Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at their meeting in Tokyo in January.

The agreement will be reflected in a new vision of the bilateral ties when Prime Minister Naoto Kan visits the United States to meet with President Barack Obama probably in June following the two-plus-two meeting, the sources said.

On space-related goals, the two countries will address impact risks posed by debris against active satellites.

In cyberspace, the two countries continue to face the common challenge of how to thwart attacks on infrastructure, including electrical power and financial systems as well as information flows.

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