National / Politics

Abe, Cameron plan defense intel-sharing

Another pact on G-8 sidelines eyed to protect sensitive tech


Japan and Britain plan to agree to forge a defense intelligence-sharing accord at a meeting of their leaders in Northern Ireland next week, while discussing the establishment of high-level bilateral talks, a government source said in Tokyo.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his British counterpart, David Cameron, are also expected to agree on a pact to protect each other’s sensitive technology, given plans to jointly develop chemical protective suits.

In April last year, the two sides struck a deal to jointly develop arms and defense equipment, following Tokyo’s December 2011 decision to relax its ban on arms exports.

Abe and Cameron will hold their first face-to-face meeting as prime ministers on the sidelines of the summit of leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, next Monday and Tuesday.

In considering the establishment of high-level dialogue between the two countries, Tokyo and London aim to launch at some point a two-plus-two framework of talks between their defense and foreign ministers. Japan has similar frameworks with the United States, Australia, Russia and France.

Abe and Cameron will also discuss the North Korea and Iran nuclear issues and Syria, where civil war continues, while confirming cooperation in concluding a free-trade agreement between Japan and the European Union, according to the source.

At the two-day G-8 summit, Abe is expected to emphasize efforts to end protracted deflation in Japan by implementing a growth strategy to be finalized shortly.

During the meeting, the G-8 leaders will likely focus on three Ts, including tax avoidance by multinational companies. The remaining two Ts are trade liberalization and transparency in information disclosure, according to Cameron.

Sources said the G-8 leaders would respond to increasing criticism against multinational companies avoiding taxes by abusing inferences in taxation systems between countries by discussing specific countermeasures. The top officials from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S. and Russia in addition to Britain are likely to agree on enhanced information exchanges.

Trade will also be a hot issue, now that Japan is set to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in July and that free-trade talks between Japan and the EU and between the EU and the U.S. are moving into high gear. The G-8 heads are expected to show their support for various free-trade frameworks, given little progress in global trade liberalization talks at the World Trade Organization, according to the sources.

With regard to transparency, the leaders of the eight nations would examine information disclosure methods by governments and companies and ways to improve online disclosure systems.

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