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Japanese defense chief to visit Vietnam this week: report
By Thanh Nien News -
Gen Nakatani, head of the Japan Defense Agency, will visit Vietnam from November 5-7 at the invitation of Minister of National Defense Phung Quang Thanh, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
His Vietnam visit would follow the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus, to be held from November 3-5 in Malaysia.
The two sides are expected to discuss China's territorial claims in the East Sea, internationally known as South China Sea, Japanese media reported.
Nakatani's talks with his Vietnamese counterpart will come amid rising tensions in the region after the United States told Southeast Asian countries that it would deploy warships to what China claims as its territorial waters in disputed areas of the sea, Kyodo News agency reported, citing Japanese diplomatic sources.
During the meeting, Nakatani is also expected to explain Japan's laws enacted in late September that will expand the role of the military abroad, Kyodo said.
The Japanese minister is also likely to discuss his country's support for Vietnam's efforts to build up its own military capacity. During his visit, he is thought likely to stop by a naval base in Cam Ranh Bay in central Vietnam, which faces the South China Sea.
The Nikkei Asian Review also reported that Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Forces will visit the Cam Ranh Bay next fiscal year.
Japan plans to send ships to Cam Ranh for the first time, letting them refuel and restock on food and other supplies, according to the report.
Nakatani will likely sign an agreement on the matter with Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh during a November 6 meeting in Hanoi, the report said.