Japan to expand SE Asia security ties with Indonesia pact

March 19, 2015 9:12 AM

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TOKYO/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Japan will sign a defense pact with Indonesia next week, officials in both governments said, the latest effort by Tokyo to forge closer security ties with Southeast Asian nations and build a counter-balance to China.

Japan has already bolstered military partnerships with the Philippines and Vietnam, the two countries most at odds with China over a territorial row in the South China Sea. Japan itself is embroiled in a bitter dispute with China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, further to the north.

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