• Reuters

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The Self-Defense Forces are considering joining the United States in maritime air patrols in the South China Sea in response to China’s increasingly assertive pursuit of territorial claims, a Japanese and a U.S. source familiar with the discussions said.

News of the deliberations came as Japan and the United States unveiled new defense guidelines during a visit to Washington by Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, reflecting his plans for Japan to take on a wider security role beyond the direct defense of its home islands.

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