Japan and the United States are expected to state how their forces will cooperate in four specific situations, including a case of collective self-defense, in revised bilateral defense cooperation guidelines aimed for release in late April, according to Japanese sources.

The first update to the guidelines in 18 years comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces by loosening constitutional constraints such as on exercising the right to collective self-defense and areas of operation.

Japan and the United States are seeking under the guideline revisions to bolster defense cooperation without preset geographical limits and to enable "seamless" responses to security threats.