Japan signs arms deal with France as part of effort to expand international military role

IndustriesAssociated Press

Japan and France are set to sign an arms transfer deal as Japan seeks to play a greater military role internationally.

In talks on diplomacy and national security later Friday, the two countries' foreign and defense ministers are expected to sign an agreement aimed at starting talks on exchanges of defense equipment, services and technology, according to Japanese officials from the related ministries.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is preparing to make legal changes to accommodate plans to bolster Japan's defense role, allowing it to defend a foreign country under attack amid China's growing military presence in the region.

Japan and France were also expected to agree to step up their military cooperation and anti-terrorism effort.