Japan, Vietnam defense chiefs agree on closer ties

The Defense Ministers of Japan and Vietnam have agreed to increase security cooperation, as concerns grow over China's territorial assertiveness.

Japan's Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo met his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Without directly naming China, Kishi told the meeting that the security environment around Japan and Vietnam was uncertain and increasingly severe.

He said unilateral and coercive attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas had become more serious.

The two defense ministers shared their strong opposition to such moves and agreed to boost cooperation, to maintain the existing international order based on the rule of law.

The ministers also agreed to cooperate in the area of cybersecurity.

They also discussed accelerating talks over a deal, agreed in September, which allows Japan to provide defense equipment and technology to Vietnam.