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AP News

Japan to seek defense talks with US

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's defense minister says Tokyo is seeking talks with the United States to update their mutual defense guidelines and expressed concern over China's increasingly assertive maritime policies.

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto told reporters Friday he would like to see the talks begin next month and cover a wide range of issues, including a review of what measures the countries could take in emergencies. He cited concerns over China's growing naval power, along with terrorism and cybercrimes.

For the past few months, Japan and China have been locked in a dispute over a group of small islands in the East China Sea.

Under a postwar mutual security pact, the United States is obliged to help defend Japan if it is attacked. The U.S. has about 52,000 troops stationed in Japan.

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