Japan could begin exporting defense equipment and technology to Vietnam under a planned agreement to be signed by the two countries.
It is part of a move to strengthen defense capabilities of Indo-Pacific nations to counter Chinese maritime advances, the Nikkei newspaper reported Wednesday.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is scheduled to visit Vietnam and Indonesia next week. The agreement could be signed during the trip, the report said.
In 2016, Tokyo ended a decades-old overseas arms export ban to help beef up the nation’s military and lower the unit cost of home-built military equipment.
It has yet to strike a deal for finished products. The only deal Japan has managed to secure is the one by Philippines for a warning and control radar system built by Mitsubishi Electric.
According to the report, Japan is also negotiating with Indonesia and Thailand to sign an agreement regarding defense equipment transfers.