India and Japan are set to deepen bilateral cooperation in defence and security, trade and investment, and high technologies, Indo-Pacific among other issues. During the wide ranging talks the two leaders Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida discussed expansion of India-Japan strategic partnership for a peaceful, stable and prosperous post-Covid world.
Briefing the media at the end of the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said that the key topics of discussion included domain of defence and security, skill development, Indo-Pacific, regional issues of significance and more.
Responding to a question put forth by Financial Express Online, the foreign secretary said that the two leaders did speak about the successful 2+2 Ministerial (Defence and Foreign ministers) meeting which took place last year. And when it came to different segments of cooperation in the field of defence, Prime Minister Modi put on the table that one of the areas of very strong cooperation between the two countries could be co-innovation, co-design and co-creation.
According to him these words are not branding words, but are strong policy underpinning on the Indian side of `Atmanirbharta’ in defence and this could be in partnership with other countries and in this case it could be Japan.
Was any specific platform discussed?
No, said the foreign secretary. According to him Technology as a wider spectrum was discussed including how technology could be used in larger fields of research, development and creation. PM Modi also told his counterpart that in the field of defence when it comes to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and private sector investments – both fields are open and encouraged the Japanese companies to harness the advantages and opportunities that are available in the defence sector.
This year two members of the QUAD are hosting two major events this year – India is holding the G20 presidency and Japan is hosting the G7 summit later in May.
On Monday the emerging threats in the Indo-Pacific due to Chinese aggression also featured during the talks.
Defence & Security Cooperation
This is one sector which has emerged as the most important pillars of the special strategic and global partnership and which plays a major role in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific Region.
Both countries are keen to deepen their relations in defence and security in an effort to counter Chinese bullying tactics.
Last December in the wake of Chinese aggression and the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war Japan announced that it has doubled its defence budget and had said that it wants to further enhance its military cooperation with other countries including India and conduct more joint military exercises.
Last year during the QUAD Leaders summit in Tokyo, PM Kishida had said that Japan will help in training 800 maritime security personnel and will also provide at least US$ 2 billion to other countries to buy patrol boats and as part of Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy to build more infrastructures.
India & Japan Military Cooperation
Defence companies are now looking to jointly work with the Indian defence companies to co-develop, co-create as well as innovate.
Recently, Japan-based Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)’s C-2 Transport Aircraft has been fielded for India’s requirement for the Medium Transport Aircraft by the Indian Air Force. This aircraft is already in service with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) since 2017.
First ever Air Force drill
The first ever air exercise `Veer Guardian’ was conducted earlier this year and the purpose of this was to further deepen interoperability between the two QUAD members as well as strengthen the defence ties.