Japan opens defense hotline with ASEAN hinh anh 1The Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo (Photo: asahi.com)

Tokyo (VNA) - Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to start the operation of a hotline between their defense authorities.

The agreement was reached at a vice-ministerial meeting in Tokyo on March 15, making Japan the first country to have such a hotline with ASEAN.

It was Japan's first face-to-face vice-ministerial meeting with ASEAN members in four years.

In 2017, ASEAN set up a permanent defense hotline for its member states. It is calling on non-member countries to take part as well.

2023 marks the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan partnership (1973-2023) and 20th anniversary of the bilateral strategic partnership (2003-2023)./.