• Kyodo


Defense Minister Akinori Eto will meet his ASEAN counterparts in Myanmar for the first gathering of its kind between Tokyo and the 10-nation bloc, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Eto will likely discuss cooperation in maritime security, humanitarian aid and disaster relief with the defense chiefs from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it said.

With this move, Japan will become the third country to hold such multilateral defense talks with ASEAN members, after the United States and China. Both the United States and China have each already organized four such meetings with the ASEAN states.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed the defense ministers’ meeting during the Japan-ASEAN summit in Tokyo last December.

Eto is scheduled to return to Japan on Thursday, the ministry said.

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