PM Modi, Japan PM Shinzo Abe speak on phone after India and Japan sign logistics agreement

Armed Forces of both sides to coordinate closely in services and supplies

Updated - September 10, 2020 11:12 pm IST

Published - September 10, 2020 11:08 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. File

India and Japan signed a logistics agreement that will allow the Armed Forces of both sides to coordinate closely in services and supplies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his outgoing Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who held a telephone discussion on Thursday, welcomed the pact that was signed by Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar and Ambassador of Japan Suzuki Satoshi.

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A statement from the government informed that the agreement on ‘Reciprocal Provision Supplies and Services’ will “increase interoperability between the Armed Forces of India and Japan” and assist in maintaining regional security.

“The agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities,” the official statement said.

The Prime Ministers of Japan and India welcomed the signing of the agreement which will help both sides coordinate on medical requirements, supplies, maintenance, airlifting and communication. Significantly, the agreement signed on Wednesday is mainly aimed at greater maritime cooperation and can dramatically upgrade India-Japan naval exercises as the participants are expected to share maritime facilities for mutual benefit. The agreement is being interpreted as a coming together of Japan and India as New Delhi deals with the tense situation with Chinese forces at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.

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Mr. Abe, who is stepping down from the post of the Prime Minister of Japan due to a medical condition, was scheduled to visit India in December 2019 for the summit level meeting with Prime Minister Modi. However, the visit was cancelled at the last moment as violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act rocked Guwahati, which was to host the summit.

India had announced that the summit would be convened later on a “mutually convenient date”. However, Mr. Abe’s departure means the next summit meeting will be attended by a new Japanese PM, who is yet to be elected.

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