Tokyo: Japan and the United States have begun full-fledged talks over revising bilateral guidelines on defense cooperation at working-level talks on Thursday in Tokyo.
One focus of the revisions is likely to be how to beef up cooperation between the security allies in monitoring and surveillance activities, as China moves to increase its maritime presence in the region.
Assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Kurt Campbell expressed hope for a greater role to be played by the Self-Defense Forces.
Hr told reporters in Tokyo that the United States is interested in ‘concrete areas where the United States and Japan can work more effectively together,’ the Japan Times reports.
According to the report, citing freedom of navigation as one such area, he expressed confidence in working together towards a goal that will be welcome in the ‘broader region as a whole’.
The efforts to revise the guidelines are expected to be made alongside discussions on enabling Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense, which is banned under the government’s current interpretation of the Constitution but being sought by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the report said.
Japan and the United States also hope to deepen their alliance in areas that are not confined to those surrounding Japan, such as U.N. peacekeeping operations in various parts of the world, antipiracy missions and fighting cyber terrorism, the report added.