India and Japan have decided to increase bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges between the two countries as they discussed ways of tackling regional and global security challenges.
The move comes amidst Japan's strained ties with its neighbours China and South Korea over territorial and other disputes.
Japanese prime minister Abe, however, said he hoped the leaders could meet to help resolve their antagonisms.
Japan is more concerned about its economy, although it also liked to strengthen its military and revise its Constitution, according to Abe.
In talks between Japanese defence minister Itsunori Onodera and India's defence minister AK Antony, the Japanese minister briefed on Japan's national security strategy and the national defence program guidelines, which were adopted in December 2013.
Onodera is on a visit to India from 5 to 8 January 2014 as a follow up to the India-Japan defence ministerial meeting held in November 2011.
The two sides shared views on issues relating to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region.
India and Japan have achieved bilateral defence cooperation in a variety of fields and at various levels, including the holding of the third defence policy dialogue, the second "2 plus 2" dialogue and the second bilateral training between the Japan Maritime Self-defence Force and the Indian Navy which was held from 19-22 December 2013.
The two sides felt the need to conduct high-level and working-level regular consultations and exchanges, including in the three services education / academic research and making efforts to further strengthen mutual trust and mutual understanding.
They also decided to strengthen India-Japan defence consultation and cooperation, including those related to maritime security to further consolidate and strengthen the strategic and global partnership between Japan and India.
The two ministers shared views to promote defence cooperation and exchanges and to conduct major cooperation and exchanges as follows:
- Continue to carry out high-level mutual visits on annual basis. The defence minister of India will visit Japan in 2014;
- Hold the third `2 plus 2' dialogue and the fourth defence policy dialogue (administrative vice-minister/secretary of defence level) in Delhi in 2014;
- Promote exchanges on UN Peacekeeping Operations between Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Centre, Joint Staff College (JPC), Central Readiness Force of Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) and Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) of the Indian Army;
- Conduct bilateral exercises between Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and Indian Navy on a regular basis. In 2014, the Indian Navy will visit Japan to conduct joint exercises;
- Conduct expert exchanges in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and counter terrorism between both Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF); and
- Continue to conduct staff exchanges and discuss possibility of conducting staff talks between Japan Air Self-Defence Force and Indian Air Force and professional exchanges of test-pilots, professional exchanges in the field of flight safety and between their transport squadrons.
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