Sat, 29 Jan 2022

Tokyo [Japan], November 28 (ANI): Amid China's assertiveness, arrangements are being made for Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to visit the United States for a two-plus-two meeting, local media reported on Sunday.

"Japan and the United States are considering holding security talks involving their foreign and defense ministers in January to reinforce their alliance in dealing with China's increasing military assertiveness," Kyodo News reported citing Japanese government sources.

According to the sources, arrangements are being made for Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to visit the United States for the so-called two-plus-two meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

"Tokyo and Washington are expected to agree to continue working closely on realizing the denuclearization of North Korea as well as maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, where tensions have grown with China stepping up military activities," the sources said.

Sources further noted that the in-person meeting will likely be held after Tokyo decides in December to shoulder more of the costs of stationing U.S. troops in Japan from fiscal 2022 in response to a request from Washington, with the ministers signing the cost-sharing accord, Kyodo News reported.

Meanwhile, Japan and the United States last held a two-plus-two security meeting in Tokyo in March. The two nations had initially hoped to hold the next meeting by the end of this year, but they are now expected to push it back due to Japanese political events in December, the sources said.

The security talks will be the first involving ministers of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet launched in October. Japan and the United States are also arranging to hold a summit meeting, but a date has not been set yet, Kyodo News reported. (ANI)

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