Japan, Philippines to hold '2+2' foreign, defense talks

Japan and the Philippines are to hold a meeting of their foreign and defense chiefs in the Southeast Asian country on Monday. Tokyo is hoping to boost bilateral security cooperation amid China's growing maritime assertiveness.

Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko and Defense Minister Kihara Minoru will meet Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo and Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro.

It will be the first so-called "two-plus-two" talks between the two countries in two years.

Its agenda will include regional situations in the East and South China seas. Beijing is increasing its maritime activities in those waters.

Another topic will be whether Japan can export more defense equipment to the Philippines. Manila installed a Japanese-made air-surveillance radar system at a Philippine Air Force base on the island of Luzon last year.

Kamikawa plans to sign a Reciprocal Access Agreement to facilitate joint training by Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the Philippine military.