Deccan Chronicle

India, Japan in deal to back each other’s aircraft, ships


Amid raging Sino-Indian military tensions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpar­t Shinzo Abe held a “very warm” 30 minute “summit telephone talk” on Thursday after which it was officially announced that the two countries had signed a key mutual defence logistics support pact called the “Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and The Self-Defence Forces of Japan” a day earlier on Wednesday.

According to the announceme­nt, the pact will provide the armed forces of the two countries access to each other’s bases and ensure that either country’s defence platforms, including ships and aircraft, will be able to use the other’s bases for repair and replenishm­ent of supplies, including fuel and spare parts.

Japanese Ambassador in India Satoshi Suzuki and Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar signed the pact on behalf of their countries. Both the leaders welcomed the inking of the pact, which Japan referred as the so-called “Acquisitio­n and Cross-Servicing Agreement” (ACSA), and agreed that it would “further enhance the depth of defence cooperatio­n between the two countries and contribute to peace in the Indo-Pacific region”.

Observers are seeing the agreement between India and Japan as a “huge strategic signal” by both the countries, which share territoria­l disputes with China. It may be noted that India already has similar defence logistics support pacts with the US, France, Singapore, South Korea and Australia and is expected to ink one soon with Russia as well.

They also agreed to “work closely in security, economy, and economic cooperatio­n”.

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