From anti-submarine warfare to robotics, India and Japan to crank up defence cooperation

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The two countries decided to begin technical discussions for joint research on unmanned ground vehicles and robotics.
  • India and Japan will also work towards including anti-submarine warfare training in their expanding military-to-military ties.
  • The ramp come at a time when Chinese submarines have been making regular forays into the Indian Ocean Region.

Arun Jaitley with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI: India and Japan have decided to further ramp up their defence cooperation, with more bilateral combat exercises, exchanges and collaboration in military and dual-use technologies, with an eye firmly on a belligerent and expansionist China.

India and Japan, which is now a permanent part of the trilateral Malabar naval exercise with the US+ , will now also work towards including anti-submarine warfare training in their expanding military-to-military ties at a time when Chinese submarines have been making regular forays into the Indian Ocean Region.

All this was decided at the meeting between Arun Jaitley, in his last engagement as the defence minister before Nirmala Sitharaman takes over the portfolio on Thursday, and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera during the bilateral annual defence ministerial dialogue+ in Tokyo, ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India later this month.

Jaitley welcomed Japan’s proposal to field its state-of-art military assets, including the P-1 maritime patrol aircraft with potent anti-submarine warfare capabilities, for the Malabar exercise next year. The two nations will also enhance their cooperation on counter-terrorism, which will include a joint field exercise between the armies of the two countries in 2018.

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Both India and Japan are wary of China’s assertiveness in Asia-Pacific, with North Korea’s nuclear test on Sunday triggering further tension in the region.

Strongly condemning the nuclear test, Jaitley and Onodera called upon Pyongyang to “cease” such actions, which “violate its international obligations and commitments” as well as “adversely impact peace and stability” in the region and beyond.

The two countries also decided to begin technical discussions for joint research on unmanned ground vehicles and robotics, as also carry forward the talks on Japanese US-2i amphibious aircraft.
India has shown interest in the acquisition of a dozen US-2i aircraft+ , which would cost around Rs 10,000 crore, since 2013 but the project is yet to get to a contract-inking stage, as earlier reported by TOI.
“The ministers exchanged views and ideas with the aim to further strengthen defence and security cooperation under the framework of the ‘Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership’,” said a joint statement.
Source:- TNN
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