Both the countries condemned terrorism and stressed on the need to enhance cooperation in the fight against the global menace.

Agreeing to take forward their defence exchanges in a meaningful way, India and Japan on Monday expressed commitment to contribute to bilateral and regional cooperation in areas like ASEAN Regional Forum, peacekeeping and disaster relief.

This was stated in a joint press statement issued at the end of a meeting between Defence Minister A K Antony and his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa in Tokyo where they reviewed the existing defence cooperation between the two countries, Defence Ministry officials said here.

Mr. Antony’s three-day visit is the first by any Indian Cabinet Minister to Tokyo after the new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government took over there.

During the meeting, the two sides condemned terrorism and stressed on the need to enhance cooperation in the fight against the global menace.

Mr. Antony and Mr. Kitazawa agreed to accelerate discussions to further promote defence exchanges and cooperation through a Defence Action Plan, as envisaged between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in October last year.

Agreeing to develop the Action Plan, the two sides hoped that it would be signed during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama to India for the Annual Summit.

They also expressed their desire to hold annual meetings and hoped that the Second Defence Policy Dialogue will be held at the earliest possible in India next year.