Japan and France intend to hold virtual two-plus-two security talks in mid-January to discuss China's assertive territorial claims in the East and South China seas and North Korea's nuclear and missile development, reported Kyodo News Agency quoting Japanese government sources on Friday.
This comes at a time of China's rising maritime assertiveness and North Korea on Friday carried out what became the third launch of apparent ballistic missiles in 10 days.
The upcoming talks are expected to focus on deepening defence cooperation and enhancing the countries' security response capacity amid increasing military threats in the Indo-Pacific region, reported the news agency.
The virtual meet will include Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi and their respective French counterparts Jean-Yves Le Drian and Florence Parly.
After the two-plus-two talks, both sides are expected to release documents. Notably, this is the first-of-its-kind meeting since the last session which was held in France in January 2019.
The meeting will be reportedly attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. The French side will be presented by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly.
The countries had initially intended to hold the talks at the end of 2021 but decided to postpone them due to the rapid spread of the new Omicron coronavirus strain. (ANI)