Japan, Canada to sign defense cooperation pact

Japan and Canada have agreed to sign an accord allowing the Self-Defense Forces and Canadian forces to provide support to each other, including equipment and transportation, during U.N. peacekeeping operations or large-scale disasters, a Japanese government source said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper plan to announce the deal, an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, or ACSA, during Abe's visit to Canada starting Monday, the source said.

Abe will hold talks with Harper before traveling on to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly during a five-day trip to Canada and the United States.

It will be the third ACSA signed by Japan, following ones with the United States and Australia.

Japan is moving to strengthen defense relations with Canada as the country's military is well experienced in humanitarian assistance, as seen in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The two governments have held working-level negotiations on an ACSA since 2011.