The Japanese and Philippine governments have agreed to hold a “two-plus-two” security meeting of their top diplomats and defense chiefs in Manila on July 8, Philippine government sources have said, as the two countries warily eye China's growing regional assertiveness.

Through the meeting, the two sides aim to reinforce bilateral security relations, and could sign a reciprocal access agreement to facilitate mutual visits by the Self-Defense Forces and the Philippine military, sources said Monday.

The upcoming meeting will be the second of its kind, after the first one in April 2022, and will be attended by Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and their Philippine counterparts, Enrique Manalo and Gilberto Teodoro, respectively.