Japan, Britain agree on defense intelligence-sharing pact

Japan and Britain agreed Monday on a pact on intelligence sharing and a framework aimed at accelerating the joint development of defense equipment, a Japanese official said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British Prime Minister David Cameron reached the agreements in their talks ahead of a summit of the Group of Eight nations in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said.

The pact enables both countries, each an ally of the United States, to share classified information, including military intelligence, Japanese officials said.

Japan has signed a similar information-sharing pact with the United States, France, Australia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Kato said Abe and Cameron agreed on a framework of joint research on how to assess the capability of chemical protective suits based on a broad agreement on the development of defense equipment the two countries reached last year.

Japan and Britain also agreed to boost discussions about setting up a bilateral high-level dialogue framework on foreign and defense affairs with a view to a "two-plus-two" ministerial meeting.

The prime ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in the sector of cybersecurity, according to Kato.