Japan, Britain to hold talks next week to boost security ties

The Japanese and British foreign and defense ministers will hold a videoconference next week to discuss ways to strengthen security cooperation amid China's growing assertiveness in the East and South China seas, the Japanese government said Friday.
In the so-called two-plus-two meeting on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and their British counterparts Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace will discuss cooperation in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific, the ministry said.
"I want to discuss bilateral security and defense cooperation and exchange views on the regional situation to further strengthen coordination between the two countries," Motegi told a press conference.
The ministers are expected to agree to work closely on Britain's plan to dispatch an aircraft carrier strike group, centered on the Queen Elizabeth, to the western Pacific for joint naval exercises with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, sources close to the matter said earlier.
Japan and Britain share concerns about China's unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas, the Japanese Defense Ministry said earlier.
China has aggressively pressed its territorial claims in those waters, drawing opposition from Tokyo and a number of other Asian countries.

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