Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau agreed Thursday that the two countries will bolster security cooperation with an eye on China's increasing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

During their meeting in Ottawa, Trudeau also told Kishida that Canada will provide full support for the success of the Group of Seven summit scheduled for May in Hiroshima, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

The ministry quoted Kishida as telling Trudeau that at the gathering in the western Japan city devastated by a U.S. atomic bombing in August 1945, he will demonstrate commitment to the G-7 rejecting any attempt to change the status quo by force.

Kishida and Trudeau confirmed in the Canadian capital that the G-7 leaders will exchange views on global issues such as economic, energy and food security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, climate change, and health care, the ministry added.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during their talks in Ottawa on Jan. 12, 2023. (Kyodo)

In December, Japan decided to significantly boost its defense spending and acquire enemy base strike capabilities to deter attacks on its territory, amid growing security threats from its neighbors including China, North Korea and Russia.

Trudeau hailed Japan's major defense policy shift under the nation's war-renouncing Constitution, aimed primarily at containing Beijing's military buildup in the nearby waters. The self-ruled democratic island of Taiwan is located between the East and South China seas.

Tensions between Communist-led China and Taiwan have been intensifying, especially after former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as the then third-highest-ranking official in the country, visited the island in early August.

Fears have been mounting that Taiwan may become a military flashpoint in the Asia-Pacific region, as Beijing considers the island a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split in 1949 as the result of a civil war.

In November, Canada launched its Indo-Pacific strategy designed to seek closer security relations with countries that have been challenging China's influence in the region.

Kishida's trip to Canada was the fourth stop on his weeklong tour of G-7 countries in Europe and North America in the run-up to the May gathering. Japan agreed with France, Italy and Britain to deepen security ties in the face of the unstable geopolitical situation.

On Friday, Kishida, who took office in October 2021, is slated to hold talks with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington. The U.S. capital is the final destination on his trip to five nations that started Monday.

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