In­dia & Ja­pan to set up JWG on US-2 air­craft


Mov­ing a step closer to the sign­ing of the am­phibi­ous air­craft deal, In­dia and Ja­pan on May 29 de­cided to es­tab­lish a Joint Work­ing Group ( JWG) to ex­plore modal­ity for the co­op­er­a­tion on the US-2 am­phib­ian air­craft. In a joint state­ment is­sued by Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe, the gov­ern­ments laid down the course of co­op­er­a­tion over the US-2 am­phib­ian air­craft. The de­ci­sion was taken dur­ing the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter’s visit to Ja­pan from May 27-30 for the An­nual Sum­mit of the Prime Min­is­ters.

The US-2 am­phibi­ous air­craft de­vel­oped by Shinmaywa In­dus­tries has the ca­pa­bil­ity of land­ing on and take-off from the outer sea. It can carry out mis­sions rang­ing from con­stab­u­lary, hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance, disas­ter re­lief and lo­gis­tic sup­port mis­sions.

Ap­plaud­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tive events held to cel­e­brate the 60th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries in 2012, Prime Min­is­ter Singh and Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­pan Shinzo Abe ex­pressed their re­solve to fur­ther con­sol­i­date and strengthen the strate­gic and global part­ner­ship be­tween In­dia and Ja­pan in the years ahead, tak­ing into ac­count changes in the strate­gic en­vi­ron­ment. They held ex­ten­sive talks on bi­lat­eral, re­gional and global is­sues and ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion at the steady growth of po­lit­i­cal ex­changes, dia­logue and pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion at all lev­els. They eval­u­ated the min­is­te­rial-level an­nual di­a­logues and ex­changes, par­tic­u­larly the For­eign Min­is­ters’ Strate­gic Dia­logue and the Min­is­te­rial Level Eco­nomic Dia­logue and also noted the suc­cess­ful out­comes achieved dur­ing the “2 plus 2” dia­logue, the For­eign Sec­re­tary level Dia­logue, the For­eign Of­fice Con­sul­ta­tions, the De­fence Pol­icy Dia­logue, the Tri­lat­eral Dia­logue be­tween In­dia, Ja­pan and the United States, as well as other key in­ter­ac­tions on var­i­ous ar­eas in­clud­ing cyber, counter-ter­ror­ism and eco­nomic part­ner­ship. They wel­comed the launch of the bi­lat­eral Mar­itime Af­fairs Dia­logue, the first meet­ing of which was held on Jan­uary 29, 2013, in New Delhi.

Both the Prime Min­is­ters ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion at the ex­pand­ing de­fence re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries based on the Joint Dec­la­ra­tion on Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween In­dia and Ja­pan, as well as the first bi­lat­eral ex­er­cise be­tween the In­dian Navy and the Ja­pan Mar­itime Self-De­fense Force ( JMSDF) held in June 2012 off the coast of Ja­pan. They de­cided to con­duct more such ex­er­cises on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with in­creased fre­quency.

Singh said: “Our dis­cus­sions were guided by the fun­da­men­tal be­lief that at a time of global un­cer­tain­ties, change and chal­lenges, In­dia and Ja­pan are nat­u­ral and in­dis­pens­able part­ners for ad­vanc­ing pros­per­ity in our two coun­tries and for a peace­ful, sta­ble, co­op­er­a­tive and pros­per­ous fu­ture for the Asia-Pa­cific and In­dian Ocean re­gions. The Joint State­ment re­flects our mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and the steps we are tak­ing to ad­vance our re­la­tion­ship. We at­tach par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance to in­ten­si­fy­ing po­lit­i­cal dia­logue and strate­gic con­sul­ta­tions and pro­gres­sively strength­en­ing de­fence re­la­tions, in­clud­ing through naval ex­er­cises and col­lab­o­ra­tion in de­fence tech­nol­ogy. Co­op­er­a­tion in high tech­nol­ogy, space, en­ergy se­cu­rity and rare earth min­er­als will also add rich con­tent to our strate­gic part­ner­ship.”

They re­it­er­ated the com­mit­ment of In­dia and Ja­pan to the freedom of nav­i­ga­tion and unim­peded com­merce based on the prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law, in­clud­ing the 1982 United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They noted on­go­ing bi­lat­eral ex­changes on mar­itime se­cu­rity in­clud­ing counter-piracy ac­tiv­i­ties, par­tic­i­pa­tion in bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral ex­er­cises as well as shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion, and in this con­text, wel­comed the joint ex­er­cises be­tween the Coast Guards of In­dia and Ja­pan held off Chen­nai in Jan­uary 2012 and in Tokyo Bay in Novem­ber 2012. They ex­pressed their ex­pec­ta­tions to fur­ther pro­mote bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion on mar­itime is­sues and also wel­comed the suc­cess­ful first meet­ing of the ex­panded ASEAN Mar­itime Fo­rum.

Singh and Abe agreed on the need to adopt a holis­tic ap­proach that en­sures zero tol­er­ance to­wards ter­ror­ism and ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion at the meet­ings of the In­dia-Ja­pan Joint Work­ing Group on Counter-ter­ror­ism. They agreed to fi­nalise and adopt the Com­pre­hen­sive Con­ven­tion on In­ter­na­tional Ter­ror­ism in the United Na­tions. Fur­ther they reaf­firmed their shared com­mit­ment to the to­tal elim­i­na­tion of nu­clear weapons. Prime Min­is­ter Abe stressed the im­por­tance of bring­ing into force the Com­pre­hen­sive Nu­clear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at an early date. They also sup­ported the strength­en­ing of in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion to ad­dress the chal­lenges of nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion and nu­clear ter­ror­ism. Abe recog­nised In­dia’s sound non-pro­lif­er­a­tion record. Both sides ex­pressed their com­mit­ment to con­tinue to work to pre­pare the ground for In­dia to be­come a full mem­ber in the in­ter­na­tional ex­port con­trol regimes: the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group, the Mis­sile Tech­nol­ogy Con­trol Regime, the Aus­tralia Group and the Wasse­naar Ar­range­ment.

Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh with the Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­pan, Shinzo Abe;

Shinmaywa’s US-2 am­phib­ian air­craft

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