India, Japan review situation in Indo-Pacific

In News:

  • During the India’s Defence minister Rajnath Singh’s two-day visit to Tokyo, India and Japan reiterated their “unwavering commitment” to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Key Issues Discussed During the visit:

  • Discussed current security situation in the Indo-Pacific: Both the countries discussed the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including developments on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea.
  • 2+2 dialogue on Indo-Pacific cooperation:
    • India and Japan have decided to hold their first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) for advancing cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
    • This effort is aimed at giving political muscle to the existing diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation between the countries.
    • India had until then had a 2+2 dialogue only with the United States.
    • Note: In foreign policy parleys, ‘Two plus Two’ is the term used for the institutionalisation of a dialogue mechanism between two countries consisting of two key ministries, such as those of defence & external affairs.
  • Sharing Military Logistics: India and Japan also took forward talks on an agreement to share military logistics for greater interoperability.
  • Joint Military exercises: Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Indian Navy will make efforts towards participating in multilateral exercises including participation as observers.

Indo-Japan Defence ties and exercises:

  • Malabar : It is a trilateral maritime exercise between Japan-India-U.S. The Malabar will be held from late September to early October 2019.
  • MINEX: The mine-countermeasures exercise (MINEX) is also a Japan-India-U.S. trilateral The MINEX had taken place in July 2019.
  • The Armies and Air Forces of India and Japan held their first bilateral exercises, ‘Dharma Guardian’ and ‘Shinyuu Maitri’, in 2018.
  • Cope India: Japan also joined the India-US Air Force exercise ‘Cope India’ as an observer for the first time.
  • Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
    • India and Japan also have shared maritime interests in the Pacific Ocean, and had decided in 2018 meeting to deepen their “maritime domain awareness” with a pact between the Indian Navy and Japanese maritime self-defence force.
  • Quad:
    • In 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending “Quad” Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
  • Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA):
    • In 2018, the ACSA was discussed during the annual India-Japan Defense Ministerial Dialogue.
    • The Acquisition and cross-servicing agreement (ACSA), would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistical support.
    • The ACSA would permit the Indian Navy (IN) access to a Japanese base in Djibouti, while the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) would be permitted to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean.
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