India and Japan have decided to deepen their engagement in defence cooperation in various fields, including exchanges on UN Peacekeeping Operations, maritime defence, air transport squadrons as also future cooperation in defence equipment and technology.
During a bilateral meeting between India's defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani, the two countries decided to continue bilateral exercises between Japan Maritime Forces and Indian Navy on a regular basis.
The two sides will conduct ministry-level talks, besides exchange of professionals and test-pilots between Japan and India.
Japan's Air-Self Force and the Indian Air Force plan exchanges between their air transport squadrons besides enhancing discussions on future cooperation in defence equipment and technology.
Besides, UN peacekeeping forces of the two countries - Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) of the Indian Army and Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Center (JPC) of Joint Staff College, Central Readiness Force (CRF) of Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) - will actively cooperate in exchange of information and expertise.
The two countries plan to conduct exchange of experts in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and counter terrorism between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF);
The two ministers briefed each other on the security environment surrounding each country and their respective defence policies. They reviewed strategic developments relating to international security situation with emphasis on the inter-connected Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
They were of the view that in the inter-connected Indo-Pacific region, India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership has a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
The two ministers welcomed the progress made in bilateral defence exchanges following the signing of memorandum of cooperation and exchanges in the field of defence during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in September 2014 and emphasised the need to further strengthen and elevate bilateral defence relations. They appreciated the on-going maritime cooperation as exemplified by bilateral Japan-India Maritime Exercises and participation of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force in India-US Joint Naval Exercises `Malabar 14' in July 2014, which was held off the coast of Japan.
They were of the view that India and Japan have the potential in the area of defence equipment and technology cooperation, which can emerge as a key pillar of bilateral defence relations. They exchanged views on potential projects for cooperation in this area and emphasized the need to pursue mutually beneficial future cooperation projects.
Parrikar, who is on a bilateral visit to Japan, called on Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe today. He said that he would like to see a strong partnership with Japan in defence equipment and technology.
Prime Minister Abe said he wanted to build a strong relationship with India not only in economic field but also in defence and security field. He said a strong India-Japan partnership is not only in the national interest of the two countries but is also important for peace and security in the region.