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India and Japan Consent to Broaden Defence Cooperation in New, Developing Fields

In the 7th Defence Policy Dialogue held on Wednesday, i.e 5th of March 2023, both India and Japan agreed to deepen their cooperation in the new and emerging spheres like space and cyber as a part of their goal to integrate their overall judicious engagements. The Indian side invited the defence industries of Japan to the talks in order to look into the investment opportunities in India under the initiative of ‘Make in India’.

The Defence Policy Dialogue was held over two weeks after the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, visited India. During the visit, PM Kishhida described India as an ‘indispensable partner’ of Japan that would help each other achieve the ambitious objective of peace, prosperity, and stability in the region of the Indo-Pacific.

Both countries recapitulated their commitments toward strong defence cooperation and agreed to explore the possibilities to further enhance the bilateral collaboration. The meeting was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane and Oka Masami, the Vice Minister of Defence for International Affairs of Japan. 

The Defence Ministry said that a wide range of issues, including service-level exercises and engagements, cooperation in defence equipment and technology, and regional security issues, were discussed in the meeting. According to Aramane, both countries should work to coordinate their defense industries.

The updates of the policies from the National Security and National Defence Strategies, which were recently released were presented by the Japanese Vice Minister. 

Both sides further appreciated the expanding cooperation between the services through staff exercises and dialogues. The ministry stated that they were pleased with the way the initial fighter exercise “Veer Guardian” between the Indian Air Force and the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force was conducted in Japan in January of this year.

An institutional mechanism between India and Japan in order to discuss bilateral defence cooperation is referred to as the Defence Policy Dialogue.

India supports Japan’s aim for a free, open, and rule-based Indo-Pacific, according to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who also emphasized that both nations must keep broadening the scope of their bilateral collaboration. It was conveyed by Singh to the Vice Minister of Japan Oka Masami, during a meeting on Thursday. 

The defence ministry said that the meeting with Singh, Oka recapitulated the keenness of Japan to further strengthen their bilateral collaboration, incorporating cooperation in defence equipment and technology sectors.

The Ambassador of Japan to India, Suzuki Hiroshi, accompanied Oka, who was grateful to Singh for the stimulus provided by his strong and positive leadership in strengthening the bilateral defence collaboration.