Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasised commitment towards furthering the India-Japan partnership and urged Japanese defence companies to invest in Indian Defence Corridors, during the India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo on Thursday.
“I had the opportunity to propose engagements in emerging and critical technological domains. I have also invited the Japanese defence companies to look at opportunities in investing in the Indian Defence Corridors,” Rajnath Singh said in a statement issued after the Tokyo Dialogue.
The discussions covered a wide spectrum of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, the defence minister said.
“As two thriving democracies in Asia, we are pursuing a Special Strategic and Global Partnership,” Singh said, adding, “This year is significant for both India and Japan, as we are celebrating 70 years of establishment of our diplomatic relations. This is an important relationship for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The two sides noted the progress in the military to military cooperation and exchanges between the two sides,” Singh said.
“We shared a common desire to further increase the scope and complexities of our bilateral exercises,” he said.
The two countries have also established staff talks and high-level dialogue between all the three services and the Coast Guard, the Union minister said.
“I am glad that we have now agreed on Staff Talks between the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self Defense Forces and the Integrated Defence Staff of India.
“The participation of Japan for the first time in the multilateral exercise MILAN and operationalization of the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services Agreement in March this year are milestones in the progress of defence cooperation between our Forces.
“We are happy to note that our Air Forces are working closely for early conduct of the inaugural Air Force fighter exercise,” he said.
Pointing out that enhancing the Defence Equipment and Technological Cooperation between India and Japan is one of the key priority areas, he said, “We held extensive discussions on ways to enhance maritime cooperation including Maritime Domain Awareness. There is consensus on both sides that a strong India-Japan relationship is very important for a free, open, rule-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific based upon sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.”
India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) shares many commonalities with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), he said.
India has also developed maritime cooperation with regional partners in consonance with our inclusive vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), he added.
Pointing out that India’s relationship with ASEAN has emerged as a key corner stone of the country’s foreign policy, Singh said that through ADMM Plus, both India and Japan are working together with ASEAN and other Plus countries for strengthening cooperation across domains, including maritime security, HADR, Peace Keeping Operations etc.
The two countries discussed important issues, regional and global, and concurred on the need for peaceful resolution of disputes in consonance with international law, he said.