• Kyodo


Japan and Britain plan to hold security talks involving their defense and foreign ministers around Dec. 14 in London to discuss responses to North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile threats, a Japanese government source said Wednesday.

The so-called two-plus-two dialogue will bring together Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera from Japan and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defense Secretary Michael Fallon from Britain. It will be the third such session, with the last one held in January last year.

The ministers are expected to strengthen bilateral security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region amid the North Korean threat, as well as China’s rising assertiveness in the East and South China seas.

They will also discuss the expansion of exchanges and joint exercises involving the Self-Defense Forces and the British military, the source said.

Prior to the visit to London, Kono plans to attend an international security conference to be held Dec. 8-10 in Manama, Bahrain, to explain Japanese efforts toward stability in the Middle East, the source said.

The conference will be attended by foreign and defense ministers as well as high-level officials from a number of countries, including U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to its website.

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