Japan, Germany to hold 2-plus-2 talks

Japan and Germany plan to hold the first-ever talks between their foreign and defense ministers as early as next week.

The sides are making arrangements to hold the "two-plus-two" talks in a teleconference format.

Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo are expected to hold discussions with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The sides are expected to confirm the view that recent activities by China, including efforts to expand its maritime reach in the East and South China seas, reflect increasingly hegemonic ambitions.

They are also expected to exchange opinions on how to work together toward ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law. The German military plans to send a frigate to the region this summer.

The ministers will also likely confirm a plan to deepen security cooperation through joint exercises held by their defense personnel.

Last year, the German government compiled guidelines on security in the Indo-Pacific region among other matters which signaled that the country is shifting from a China-centered diplomatic strategy in Asia. It is now looking to strengthen ties with countries like Japan.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has been seeking to deepen cooperation with countries, like Germany, that it says share Japan's values.