May 30, 2017 5:39 am JST

US and Japan set cabinet-level 'two-plus-two' meeting for July

North Korea to lead agenda for foreign affairs, defense ministers

TOKYO -- The U.S. and Japan are closing in on a July date for key cabinet-level talks where top diplomatic and defense officials are expected to discuss the North Korean missile threat, says a Japanese government source.

The Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee, also known as the "two-plus-two" meeting, will be the first under President Donald Trump. The officials are expected to primarily discuss deploying the land-based Aegis anti-missile system, as well as other avenues to strengthen defenses against Pyongyang's ballistic capabilities.   

Tokyo will send Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Tomomi Inada to the U.S. They will meet their American counterparts, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump ordered a two-plus-two dialogue during their summit in February. The two men reaffirmed their commitment to an early date for the forum when they met again on Friday in Italy.

(Nikkei)

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