TOKYO, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Japan and the United States announced that a formal agreement on the revision of the current Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines will be made in October, Japanese Defense Ministry officials said here Wednesday.
The officials, relaying information from Japan's defense chief Itsunori Onodera, who is attending a regional security meeting in Brunei, said that Onodera and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had spoken on the sidelines of the meeting and agreed to formalize the revision at a bilateral ministerial meeting slated for October in Tokyo.
The officials said the planned revisions to the Japan-U.S. defense guidelines would be based around the roles of Japan's Self- Defense Forces and the U.S. military, amid what they described as a "shifting security dynamic" in the Asia-Pacific region.
Onodera and Hagel, along with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, plan to hold the two-plus-two meeting on Oct. 3 in Tokyo, the officials said Wednesday.
They also quoted Hagel as saying he is looking forward to ongoing two-way talks on strengthening and modernizing the Japan-U. S. alliance -- which the U.S. trumpets as being the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region -- during his planned visit to Tokyo in October.
Onodera and Hagel also discussed the thorny issue of Japan's debate as to whether to revise its pacifist Constitution to allow its forces the rights to collective self-defense, or to defend an ally under armed attack.
Under Japan's current Constitution, such actions are prohibited and the debate to revise Japan's self-imposed pacifist stance has drawn the ire and strained diplomatic ties with Japan's neighbors, who suffered at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army throughout its brutal colonial occupation during World War II.
Hagel, for his part, said he is mindful of the issue and that further views would be exchanged in the October meeting.
Defense Ministry officials here also said that talks were held in Brunei between Japan and New Zealand about enhancing bilateral defense ties.