• Kyodo

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The foreign and defense ministers of Japan and France will hold talks in Tokyo on Jan. 26 to strengthen defense ties and work on restraining North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Friday.

“We hope to share our views over the increasingly severe security situation, including North Korea issues, and discuss our response,” Onodera told reporters, adding that he plans to meet his French counterpart separately on Jan. 27.

The so-called two-plus-two talks next Friday will be attended by Onodera, Foreign Minister Taro Kono, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The four are also expected to discuss ways to promote cooperation on defense technology and joint military exercises, Onodera said.

It will be the fourth set of two-plus-two talks held between France and Japan. The talks were last held in January 2017.

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