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US, Japan Review Defense Pact, Seek Expanded Cooperation

RIA Novosti

22:32 08/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - The US and Japan will expand their defense cooperation under new guidelines for the US-Japan Defense Cooperation that will be adopted later this year, the US department of Defense reported Wednesday.

'The two governments will enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas to generate a more peaceful and stable international security environment,' the interim report on the progress of revising the bilateral guidelines issued by the US officials reads.

The new guidelines will 'capture the greater scope of our alliance cooperation, reflecting its more global nature,' a senior State Department official stated in the interim report.

Information sharing, surveillance and reconnaissance, air and ballistic missile defense, peacekeeping, maritime security and space activities are among the spheres where cooperation between the two states may be enhanced.

Chinese reaction to the report was immediate.

'The Japan-US alliance is a bilateral arrangement set up under specific historical conditions. It should not exceed its bilateral scope and should not harm the interests of third parties,' Xinhuanet reported Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei as saying Wednesday at a press briefing.

'We will closely follow the revision of the Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines,' he added.

The ongoing revision of defense cooperation guidelines between Japan and the US is the first since 1997. Initially the Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation were adopted in 1978 with a view to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The guidelines consider US-Japan cooperation under normal circumstances, in case of an armed attack against Japan and in situations in areas surrounding Japan that jeopardize its peace and security.

In July, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe allowed Japan's Self-Defense Forces to engage in collective self-defense activities under special conditions, which was broadly criticized both in Japan and by the neighboring countries that were victims of Japan's aggression during World War II.

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