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Japan, US foreign policy chiefs to hold talks on Monday in London

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (Pool photo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will hold talks with his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on Monday in London, the Foreign Ministry said, with issues linked to China, North Korea and Myanmar expected to be high on the agenda.

    Their talks, the first since March when Blinken visited Japan, will be held before a three-day meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized countries.

    Based on the first meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden in April, the two foreign policy chiefs are expected to discuss practical aspects of how best to strengthen the bilateral alliance, officials said.

    As part of efforts to boost the security alliance amid China's military rise, Koji Yamazaki, the chief of Japan's Self-Defense Forces' Joint Staff, held talks with his U.S. counterpart Mark Milley in Hawaii on Friday.

    Yamazaki and Milley agreed the two countries will continue to "firmly oppose" any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East China Sea, where the Japan-controlled, China-claimed Senkaku Islands are located, according to the Japanese Joint Staff.

    They also confirmed that the uninhabited islands fall under the scope of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. security treaty, which states Washington will defend territories under Tokyo's administration from armed attack, it said.

    As South Korea has been invited as a guest to the G-7 meeting that will run through Wednesday, Japan and the United States are also hoping to arrange three-way talks between the nations' top diplomats, the first since the Biden administration took office in January.

    The U.S. administration has recently completed a months-long policy review on North Korea, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying Friday that it will pursue a "practical" approach toward ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons and will not focus on striking a grand bargain.

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