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Japan, Indonesia agree on defence technology transfer talks

Japan and Indonesia agreed on Thursday to begin talks on the transfer of defence technology to Jakarta and to help reduce tensions in the South China Sea, officials said.

The agreement, made during discussions between the defence and foreign ministers of the two countries, came as they expand traditionally strong commercial and business ties to the field of defence and security.

“We agreed to start negotiation on the transfer of defence technology, which is a great achievement” in ongoing efforts to boost defence cooperation, Japanese defence minister Gen Nakatani told reporters.

“I stressed the importance of cooperation in maritime security,” Nakatani added, saying that Japan’s military, known as the Self-Defence Forces, will next year join a multilateral maritime drill led by Indonesia. The agreement comes as tensions mount over competing maritime claims in the South China Sea involving China and some of Indonesia’s partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations including the Philippines and Vietnam. Indonesian officials, meanwhile, hailed the accord with Japan and called on all claimants in the South China Sea to work to lower regional temperatures. “We agreed to enhance stability in the South China Sea,” Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi said.

Japan’s close ally the United States in October sent a warship near the disputed Spratly Islands chain, stressing the international right to freedom of navigation.
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