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International relations

Japan to share defense supplies with France and Canada

Pacts expected to take effect in 2019 with an eye to China

The Japanese government expects the SDF to tap logistical support arrangements in military drills and other situations.

TOKYO -- Japan plans to set up logistical support arrangements allowing the Self-Defense Forces to share common supplies with the French and Canadian militaries, part of efforts to bolster defenses in light of China's maritime advances.

Proposals for acquisition and cross-servicing agreements with the two countries will be submitted to the Diet session starting later this month, with the aim of having the pacts take effect this year.

Japan already has the agreements with the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Tokyo has been stepping up defense cooperation in the Pacific with countries that share common security interests as China pursues a military buildup in the South China Sea.

The pacts would enable the SDF to share food, fuel and ammunition with their counterparts. The government envisions such arrangements being used in United Nations peacekeeping operations, joint military drills and major natural disasters.

Japan already inked the documents with Canada and France last year, and those countries are also in the process of completing domestic procedures.

Japan has worked with French and Canadian forces in cracking down on North Korean vessels accepting goods banned under international sanctions on the high seas. Japan is also set to enter into negotiations with India to create the same arrangement.

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