Defense and economic cooperation between the United States, Japan and the Philippines is expected to increase following their first-ever trilateral leaders’ summit next week in Washington, Manila's envoy to Tokyo said in an interview.

Trilateral cooperation is being discussed in broad areas, including infrastructure, cyber, energy, emerging technologies, critical minerals as well as defense and security, Philippine Ambassador Mylene Garcia-Albano said ahead of a highly anticipated meeting between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden and Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on April 11.

The statement comes amid media reports that the three countries plan to launch joint naval patrols in the South China Sea later this year — a move that would mark Tokyo’s first participation in such exercises, and anger Beijing.