Japan to Cancel SDF Destroyer's Busan Port Call
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Tokyo, Jan. 27 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering canceling a plan to have the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Izumo destroyer call at Busan, South Korea, in April amid deteriorating relations between the two countries over the radar lock-on incident and subsequent developments, informed sources said Sunday.
Japan and South Korea are likely to scale back bilateral defense cooperation from now on, pundits warned.
According to government sources, MSDF ships will participate in multilateral drills to be held in waters off the Korean Peninsula when defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and ASEAN dialogue partners such as Japan, the United States and South Korea gather in South Korea in April.
But there would be no Busan port call by the Izumo helicopter flattop, the sources said.
At a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya suggested the possibility of cutting back programs for defense cooperation with South Korea, noting that Japan would make cooperation efforts in a selective manner in terms of program content and implementation timing.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]