India and Japan hold defence talks
The Defence Minister of Japan, Itsunori Onodera, who visited India from January 5-8, 2014, as a follow-up to the IndiaJapan Defence Ministerial meeting held in November 2011, met with the Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony, in New Delhi. 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. They shared views on issues relating to peace, stability and prosperity of the region. Onodera briefed on Japan’s National Security Strategy and the National Defence Programme Guidelines, which were adopted in December 2013.
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 19-22, 2013.
They 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 strategic and global partnership between Japan and India.
The key highlights of the meeting included:
• Continue to carry out high-level mutual visits on annual basis. The Defence Minister of India will visit Japan in 2014.
• Hold the third “2 plus 2” dialogue and the fourth Defence Policy Dialogue (Administrative Vice-Minister/Secretary of Defence level) in Delhi in 2014.
• Promote exchanges on UN Peacekeeping Operations between Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Centre, Joint Staff College ( JPC), Central Readiness Force of Japan Ground SelfDefence Force (JGSDF) and Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) of the Indian Army.
• Conduct bilateral exercises between Japan Maritime SelfDefence Force and Indian Navy on a regular basis. In 2014, the Indian Navy will visit Japan to conduct joint exercises.
• Conduct Expert exchanges in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Counter Terrorism between both Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force ( JGSDF); and
• Continue to conduct staff exchanges and discuss possibility of conducting staff talks between Japan Air Self-Defence Force and Indian Air Force and professional exchanges of test-pilots, professional exchanges in the field of flight safety and between their transport squadrons.
The Defence Minister of Japan Itsunori Onodera calling on the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on January 6, 2014