(AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence. Suga’s meeting with Vietnam’s Nguyen Xuan Phuc is his first overseas summit since taking office last month. The two leaders set a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has made several such agreements in recent years to strengthen ties with Southeast Asia and sustain its own defense industry. Suga and Phuc signed other agreements on economic cooperation and agreed to reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan, both of which have somewhat managed to stabilize COVID-19 outbreaks.