Japan, India likely to sign military logistics pact
23 October 2018
India and Japan are finalising a military logistics pact that will allow access to each other’s bases as the two countries tighten their military ties to ward off emerging security threats in the region.
The two countries are expected to sign a base sharing agreement at an upcoming bilateral summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, later this month, reports citing official sources said.
The 13th India-Japan summit to be held in Tokyo on 28-29 October is expected finalise deeper military cooperation between the two countries, including the sharing of military assets and capabilities in the logistical sphere.
The so-called acquisition and cross-servicing agreement (ACSA) would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defence Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistic support.
Such an agreement would allow the Indian Navy access to a Japanese base in Djibouti, while the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) would be permitted to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean, next to other naval facilities.
Incidentally, China, which has been locked in territorial disputes with both India and Japan, also maintains a military base in Djibouti.
The agreement, however, would not in any way commit either country to any military action. While the exact nature of discussions is not known, the two countries are likely to seek a rapid conclusion of negotiations given mutual plans to increase the number of joint military exercises in 2019 and 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Japan this weekend for an annual summit with his counterpart Shinzo Abe, and the proposed Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement between the two militaries is on the agenda.
During the summit meeting, Japan is also expected to push a$1.35 billion defense deal involving the sale of 12 Shinmaywa US-2i amphibious search-and-rescue/maritime surveillance aircraft for the Indian Navy. The US-2is are slated to be stationed on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.. If concluded, the government-to-government contract would be Japan’s first major overseas defence deal since the lifting of a self-imposed embargo on arms exports in 2014.
Under Modi and Abe, bilateral relations have rapidly expanded and the two countries conduct three-way naval exercises involving the United States in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
“Under the framework of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan, the two leaders will have wide-ranging discussions over two days on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” an October 12 Indian government press release about the upcoming bilateral summit states, without offering details.