With China in mind, Japan, India agree to deepen defense
GANDHINAGAR, India: The leaders of India and Japan agreed on Thursday to deepen defense ties and push for more cooperation with Australia and the United States, as they seek to counter growing Chinese influence across Asia.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived this week in his counterpart Narendra Modi’s home state, skipping the tradition of visiting the capital of New Delhi, for the tenth meeting between two leaders since Modi came to power in 2014.
Relations have deepened between Asia’s second and third largest economies as Abe and Modi, who enjoy a close personal relationship, increasingly see eye-to-eye to balance China as the dominant Asian power.
“Almost everything that takes place during the visit, including economic deals, will in part be done with China in mind,” Eurasia analysts said in a note.
Abe’s visit comes days after New Delhi and Beijing agreed to end the longest and most serious military confrontation along their shared and contested border in decades, a dispute that had raised worries of a broader conflict between the Asian giants.
In a lengthy joint statement, India and Japan said deepening security links was paramount. This included collaboration on research into unmanned ground vehicles and robotics and the possibility of joint field exercises between their armies.