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India, Japan to hold 2+2 dialogue on Indo-Pacific cooperation

Rajnath Singh rides on the Shinkansen train to the Hamamatsu air base from Shin-Yokohama on Tuesday.

Rajnath Singh rides on the Shinkansen train to the Hamamatsu air base from Shin-Yokohama on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The two countries have made steady progress in Maritime Domain Awareness

India and Japan have decided to hold their first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) ahead of the Japan-India annual summit this year for “advancing cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region”. Accord on the meeting was reached by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya at the India-Japan annual defence ministerial dialogue, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

“The Ministers recognised that peace and stability of the Indian and Pacific Oceans are crucial for ensuring prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the entire world, and had a frank exchange of views on the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including developments on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement. The Ministers shared their views on exploring cooperation with countries in the Indo-Pacific region through various initiatives that would further the shared vision of peace and stability, it added.

The Prime Ministers of Japan and India, in their vision statement in October 2018, had reiterated their commitment to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. Mr. Singh is on a two-day visit to Japan, during which he also met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He will proceed to South Korea from Japan.

The Ministry said that the two Ministers “shared their intention that Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Indian Navy will make efforts towards participating in multilateral exercises including participation as observers.”

In this regard, the Ministers welcomed both the Japan-India-U.S. trilateral maritime exercise ‘Malabar 2019’, which would be held from late September to early October, and the second Japan-India-U.S. trilateral mine-countermeasures exercise (MINEX) that was held in July, and expressed their resolve “to continue the trilateral exercise in the same framework from next year onwards.”

The Armies and Air Forces of India and Japan held their first bilateral exercises, ‘Dharma Guardian’ and ‘Shinyuu Maitri’, in 2018. Last year, Japan also joined the India-US Air Force exercise ‘Cope India’ as an observer for the first time.

The two countries have made steady progress in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) based on implementing the arrangement for deeper cooperation between the two Navies, signed last year. The Ministers also noted the progress on the ongoing negotiations for the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which commenced after the summit meeting in October last year.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 4:39:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-japan-to-hold-22-dialogue-on-indo-pacific-cooperation/article29325311.ece

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