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Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera (L-R), Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis hold a news conference after their U.S.-Japan Security talks at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(reuters_tickers)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Thursday Japan would strengthen its defence posture in response to the North Korean threat and provide $500 million (£388.3 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)

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