Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono discussed the need to strengthen defence cooperation between the two nations at the 10th Indo-Japan Strategic Dialogue held in New Delhi
The Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono flew down to India on Monday for a two-day visit to attend the 10th Indo-Japan Strategic dialogue in New Delhi. The Foreign Minister level dialogue between Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and her Japanese counterpart focused on the need to boost bilateral defence and security relations.
During the 10th Indo-Japan Strategic Dialogue, both sides agreed on upgrading the 2+2 dialogue framework to the level of ministers. Japan and India had agreed on holding 2+2 dialogue to strengthen cooperation during Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo for the 13th Indo-Japan Annual Summit in October, 2018.
Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Natsuko Sakata asserted that Japan was keen on increasing security cooperation. He added that bilateral cooperation between the two countries has been primarily driven by economics in the last decade, while security and defence are now gaining momentum. Aimed at establishing logistical support between the Indian military and Japan’s Self Defence Force, the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) negotiations are also likely to be fast tracked.
A Japanese readout further asserted, “Towards the realisation of the shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, Minister Kono reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in third countries and India’s Northeastern region. The two ministers shared the view to continue to crystalise cooperation especially through Act East Forum’’
According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, both Foreign Ministers recognised that the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership held greater significance in contemporary global context, symbolising prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj also promised India’s support during Japan’s hosting of the G20 summit in June 2019.
The Indian MEA affirmed, “Following the Strategic Dialogue with EAM (External Affairs Ministry), Foreign Minister Kono also called on Prime Minister Modi.” It added, “Mr. Kono briefed the Prime Minister about the follow-up action taken in recent months after the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Japan in October 2018.”