For further promoting bilateral defence and security relations, India and Japan keenly await for the first 2+2 Ministerial Meeting, which was confirmed during the last Summit Meeting, within this year and dialogues on space and cyber cooperation. India also mentioned the early commencement of negotiations on Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). This agreement would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistical support.
During a meeting which lasted for around 75 minutes, between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, who said that “Together with India, Japan would like to play a leading role in promoting peace and prosperity in the region and the world.”
The two ministers exchanged their opinions on regional affairs including the North Korea issues as well as global challenges such as G20, UNSC, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
According to the joint statement released at the end of the summit level meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, “The two leaders welcomed the joint exercise between each of the three services and the commencement of negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which will enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defense cooperation.”
Both countries have been discussing this agreement for a few months now. Under this agreement the navies of both countries will get access Zo the naval bases. This agreement is expected to allow the Indian Navy ships to access Japanese base in Djibouti, and the Japanese navy could get permission to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean.
“Recognizing that enhanced exchanges in expanding maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Indo-Pacific region contributes to regional peace and stability, they welcomed the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF),” the statement release in Oct 2018 reads.
Kono said that India is the most important partner to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” at the 10th Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue which took place in New Delhi on Monday, Jan 7.
This year there will several meetings between the leaders of both countries as Japan is hosting the G20, this is the year when it is the turn of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s turn to visit India this year for the next Summit Meeting. Both countries have signed Exchange of Notes last December concerning three Yen loan projects. Swaraj during her discussion talked about further investment by Japanese companies in India.
Towards the realization of the shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, Kono reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in third countries and India’s North Eastern region. The two ministers shared the view to continue to crystalize cooperation especially through Act East Forum.