06 September, New Delhi
India and Japan Wednesday decided to deepen their military cooperation, especially in the naval sphere, an announcement that comes amid China’s increasing aggressiveness in the region.
A joint statement issued today at the end of outgoing Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s two-day visit to Japan for the annual Defence Ministerial Meeting with his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera said, “The Ministers exchanged views and ideas with the aim to further strengthen defence and security cooperation under the framework of the “Japan-lndia Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.
The two countries confirmed their intention to further deepen and advance the objectives of the trilateral Malabar exercise, the statement said.”Minister Onodera expressed his intention to have state-of-the-art Japanese assets including P-1 to participate in the MALABAR 2018. Minister Jaitley welcomed this proposal, it said.The countries will explore sharing techniques of anti-submarine warfare. They will also look at exchanging anti-submarine aviation units such as P-3C, the statement said.
Moreover, Navy personnel were likely to take part in mine-countermeasures training held by Japanese naval forces. There will be deeper cooperation in air defence and ground defence in which both the countries will enable visits of their aircraft to each other’s bases for the first time ever, Japan’s chief of defence forces will visit India in the first half of 2018, the two countries said.
The statement also spoke about enhancing interaction between governments and defence industries of the two countries to encourage equipment collaboration including defence and dual-use technologies.”They commended the progress made in discussions to identify specific areas of collaboration in the field of defence equipment and technology cooperation including in the framework of the Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation,” it said.
The two countries condemned the nuclear test by North Korea and called upon the country to stop all such action as would threaten peace and stability of the region and beyond.
“The Ministers exchanged views on the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region. They condemned in the strongest terms North Korea’s nuclear test of 03 September 2017, which is in violation of its international obligations and commitments, including under relevant UNSC resolutions and called upon DPRK to cease such action which adversely impacts peace and stability of the region and beyond,” the joint statement said.