India and Japan today resolved to further strengthen military cooperation as the two countries held wide-ranging talks on bilateral defence and security ties amid escalating tension in the region in the wake of the powerful nuclear test by North Korea. A range of bilateral and regional issues relating to security and defence were deliberated at length during talks between Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera here, officials said. Jaitley also called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discussed ways to deepening defence and security co- operation. In the meeting, Jaitley conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to Abe, Indian envoy to Japan Sujan Chinoy said. The annual Indo-Japan Ministerial Defence dialogue took place at a time when tension was mounting in the region due to North Korea’s nuclear pursuits and China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea. Jaitley and Onodera also launched a business-to-business meeting of Indian and Japanese industries to promote defence production
Prior to the annual defence ministerial meeting, Jaitley was given a guard of honour. The defence and security cooperation between India and Japan is on an upswing and both countries are exploring ways to further deepen it. Prime Minister Modi had visited Japan in November last year during which both sides had decided to ramp up bilateral defence and security cooperation. Jaitley, who was holding the additional charge of defence, has attended the security dialogue though Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed defence minister in Sunday’s cabinet reshuffle. Jaitley had said on Sunday that he is attending the dialogue with Japan as there were logistical constraints for Sitharaman to go for it. Sitharaman is likely to take charge of the ministry on Thursday.