Tokyo, March 31: India and Japan on Tuesday agreed to enhance bilateral defence and security cooperation, including in the field of maritime security, an official statement said. In a meeting here between visiting Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, the two sides decided to hold regular dialogue at different levels that would include annual visits by their respective defence ministers.
Kishida emphasised on “commolity of strategic interests between Japan and India” and conveyed Tokyo’s desire to enhance bilateral defence and security cooperation, including in the field of maritime security, the statement said.
The visit, Parrikar’s first outside the country since he took charge as defence minister, is being viewed as an attempt by the two countries to join forces for countering Chi’s growing influence in the region.
Kishida said Japan would like to further enhance economic cooperation with India and work jointly to enhance regiol connectivity. In 2016, the Japanese defence minister will be visiting India.
Parrikar welcomed Japan’s initiative to strengthen bilateral ties and said Japan is a privileged partner of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence equipment and technology sector.
Parrikar, on a four-day visit to Japan, on Monday met his Japanese counterpart, Defence Minister Gen katani. The two defence ministers discussed strategic developments relating to the intertiol security situation, with emphasis on the inter-connected Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. They were of the view that in the inter-connected Indo-Pacific region, the India-Japan special strategic and global partnership has a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the region. (IANS)