Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Singapore where they will attend a three-day international conference on Asian security starting Friday, a government source said Thursday.
During the Asia Security Summit in Singapore, widely called the Shangri-La Dialogue, Abe will likely brief Hagel about his aim to have Japan exercise its right to collective self-defense in light of the planned revision of guidelines on Japan-U.S. defense cooperation by the year-end, the sources said.
This would be Abe's first meeting with a senior U.S. official since the premier instructed government officials and ruling parties to study the legal framework for allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, which previous governments have interpreted as running counter to the pacifist Constitution which bans the use of force as a means of settling international disputes.
Abe is scheduled to deliver a speech at the summit Friday evening and to express opposition to China's attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas by force.
Japan and the United States are currently working to hold the meeting between Abe and Hagel shortly before Abe's speech, the sources said.