India, Japan Plan Naval Exercise
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera on Monday met his Indian counterpart A K Antony at the South Block here when the two sides decided to ramp up their military ties through a naval exercise along Japan’s coast later this year and holding their Secretary-level talks.
Onodera, who reached Delhi on Sunday and would be here till Wednesday, also led Japanese Defence Ministry officials in making a presentation of their nation’s National Security Strategy and Defence Programme Guidelines that were adopted in December 2013.
Antony and Onodera met on Monday as a follow up to the India-Japan Defence Ministers meeting held in November 2011.
The two sides are also on the verge of signing a deal for Japanese firm ShinMaywa’s US-2 amphibious aircraft for the Indian Navy, for operating in island territories such as Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
At the meeting, the two ministers “extensively and frankly” exchanged ideas regarding regional and global security challenges, as well as bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges between India and Japan, Defence Ministry officials said in a statement.
Among the issues of security discussed included the Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) unilaterally announced by China late last year that apparently overlapped with the ADIZ of Japan over Senkaku island. This Air Defence Identification Zone extension by China had raised a security scare in East China Sea with other nations such as South Korea and the US too making noises over it.
Antony and Onodera shared views on issues relating to the “peace, stability and prosperity” of their respective regions, the statement said.
The Japanese Minister briefed on his nation’s National Security Strategy and the National Defence Program Guidelines, which were adopted in December 2013, and this detailed briefing came in for appreciation from the Indian Minister.
The two ministers appreciated the progress on India-Japan bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges that had been achieved in a variety of fields and at various levels, including the holding of the third Defence Policy Dialogue, which was decided during the 2011 Defence Ministerial meeting, 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 December 19 to 22 December, 2013. The two Ministers also shared views on the necessity to conduct high-level and working-level regular consultations and exchanges, deepening Services exchanges and education/academic research exchanges and making other efforts, in order 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.
At the meeting, the two ministers shared views to promote defence cooperation and exchanges, and to conduct major cooperation and exchanges.
The two nations would hold the third “2 plus 2” dialogue and the fourth Defence Policy Dialogue at the Defence Secretary level in Delhi in 2014.
The two sides will promote exchanges on UN peacekeeping operations between Indian Army’s Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) and Japan’s Peacekeeping Training and Research Centre, Joint Staff College (JPC) and Central Readiness Force of its Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF).