Japan's top government spokesperson has reiterated that the country will seek to maintain an intelligence-sharing pact with South Korea.
The General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, is automatically renewed every year since it was signed in 2016, but either nation can pull out by giving notice by this Saturday.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday that the pact has been automatically renewed, based on the belief that it will strengthen bilateral security cooperation and contribute to regional peace and stability.
He said relations with South Korea are now extremely strained, but the Japanese government believes it is important for the two countries to work together wherever they should.
Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said the agreement is a useful framework for Japan and South Korea to analyze the security situation and take responses.
He added that Japan has shared intelligence with Seoul over North Korea's launches of projectiles since May, and the pact helps cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea.