The government hopes to sign a pact on mutual exchanges of military supplies and services with South Korea this fall, sources said.
Nobushige Takamizawa, director general of the Defense Ministry’s Defense Policy Bureau, revealed the plan Monday at a meeting of Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers engaged in defense issues, according to the sources.
Takamizawa’s remark came nearly a month after Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan Jin, agreed in Seoul to start discussions toward the signing of an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement.
The pact would stipulate reciprocal provision of supplies such as food, water and fuel plus medical services between the Self-Defense Forces and the South Korean military in conducting international cooperation activities. The specifics would be defined by each country’s domestic laws.
The bilateral ACSA would entail cooperation on U.N. peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance, as well as search-and-rescue operations.
Some South Korean officials remain cautious about cooperating with the SDF in the event of a crisis on the Korean Peninsula, so both governments are expected to exclude dealing with emergency situations there, the sources said.
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