The defense chiefs of Japan and France have agreed to boost defense cooperation.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera met with his French counterpart Florence Parly in Tokyo on Saturday.
Onodera said France, with its vast exclusive economic zone in the Pacific region, is Japan’s special partner.
The 2 ministers agreed to boost bilateral cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
They also confirmed that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development poses a grave and imminent threat to the international community.
They agreed to use all possible measures to step up pressure against the North to a maximum level.
The ministers also agreed to conduct joint military drills on land and at sea.
Onodera and Parly then inspected a Japanese Self-Defense Force unit in charge of PAC3 interceptor missiles deployed in the Defense Ministry compound.
Onodera later told reporters that they also spoke in the meeting about China’s maritime activities in the South China Sea.
He said any change to the status quo by force would be unacceptable.