Japan, Malaysia leaders to agree on maritime security cooperation

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Wednesday with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak and they are expected to agree on cooperation in ensuring security in Asia amid the assertive maritime policy of China.

Abe is likely to brief Najib on Tokyo's view on maritime security, considering that Malaysia is located near key sea lanes in Southeast Asia, Japanese officials said.

Their summit, the first since last December, took place amid growing tensions between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea, where Beijing has deployed a large oil rig in an area also claimed by Hanoi. Both sides have accused each other of ramming ships.

The development has added to Japan's concern about Chinese maritime policy as Japan and China have been in conflict over the sovereignty of a group of Japan-administered islands in the East China Sea.

Abe and Najib are also expected to discuss economic cooperation such as Japan's technical assistance for Malaysia to complete its building of a high-speed train system in 2020 and the efforts to sign a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, which has been negotiated by 12 countries including Japan and Malaysia.