Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera are heading for the United States for talks with their American counterparts. They are expected to discuss the deterrence capabilities of the Japan-US alliance amid tensions over North Korea.
The first "2-plus-2" meetings under President Donald Trump will be held in Washington on Thursday.
North Korea's nuclear and missile programs are expected to top the agenda following Pyongyang's latest threat to target waters near the US territory of Guam.
Kono and Onodera are expected to discuss ways to enhance the deterrence and response capabilities of the bilateral alliance, as well as China's maritime activities.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump agreed in a telephone discussion that their top priority on North Korea was to halt further missile launches. They also spoke about a need for the international community to increase pressure on Pyongyang.