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Germany and Japan are expected to formally conclude a military information protection agreement as early as next week, informed sources said.

The pact to share military secrets and prevent leaks is expected to be signed by representatives of the two governments in Tokyo.

Last September, Germany drew up diplomatic and trade guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region that sought to reverse course from its heavy focus on China and boost its security presence in Asia, including the dispatching of a frigate to the Indo-Pacific region.

The new agreement will enable Japan to share military information more easily, removing a major obstacle to exporting defense equipment to the European nation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached a broad agreement on an information protection pact with then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during her visit to Japan in February 2019.

However, the two countries were unable to formally conclude such a pact in a timely manner due to prolonged negotiations over differences in their legal interpretations.

Tokyo already has similar pacts with the United States and Australia.

Japan tried to sell the Japanese-made P-1 patrol aircraft to Germany as a replacement for its current planes slated to be retired in 2025.

However, Berlin excluded the P-1 from its list of candidates last year because of what it called a lack of an adequate cooperative relationship with Tokyo.

The absence of a bilateral information-sharing program is seen as a factor behind the exclusion, as patrol planes gather and transmit highly sensitive information.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said last December that an information protection agreement was necessary to produce real value from cooperation between the two technological powerhouses.

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