Japan and Thailand signed an agreement Monday enabling the mutual transfer of defense equipment and technology, deepening their bilateral security cooperation amid the growing clout of an assertive China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha also agreed during their summit to work closely in extending humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its neighbors as Russia's invasion since February has sent over 5.5 million people fleeing the war-torn country.

To help Thailand recover from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, Kishida announced that Japan will extend around ¥50 billion ($385 million) in loans and ¥500 million in grant aid to strengthen the quarantine regime in the Southeast Asian nation, a hub of Japanese corporate activities in the region.