Japan says to boost defense posture, provide $500 million for maritime defense

Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Foreign Minister Taro Kono are served drinks as they sit down to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis for U.S.-Japan Security talks at the State Department in Washington, U.S. August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Thursday Japan would strengthen its defense posture in response to the North Korean threat and provide $500 million to help boost maritime security in East Asia, where China has been pursuing extensive maritime claims.

Kono made the comments at a joint news conference after talks in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by James Dalgleish