Chief of Army Staff (CoAS)General Bikram Singh on Monday set off for Japan on a four-day visit, to firm up bilateral ties between the two countries and enhance defence cooperation. “The visit of the Army Chief to Japan is part of the ongoing high-level military exchanges between the two countries and highlights the importance of India’s peaceful and friendly ties with Japan,” the Army Headquarters (HQ) said in a statement here.
New Delhi and Tokyo had taken their bilateral ties to newer heights following the establishment of the India-Japan global partnership for the 21st century in August 2000 and the strategic and global partnership in 2006. And defence and security cooperation have emerged as the major highlight of the strategic partnership.
A Defence Policy Dialogue was established between the two countries and the Army-to-Army talks were institutionalised under this mechanism. The defence cooperation between the two sides has been characterised by joint efforts in the field of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, exchange of personnel for training courses and delegation visits at the functional level, apart from the cooperation in the UN peacekeeping operations.
And both India and Japan had indicated a willingness to further enhance cooperation in other areas of mutual interest in the defence and security sector.
Meanwhile, the Army Chief is scheduled to hold talks with the Japanese Self-defence Forces Chief of General Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the Defence Minister during the visit.
Gen Singh will also visit the Japanese military training establishments and various formation headquarters.