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SOURCE: UNI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday emphasised on the need to expand the scope of partnership in defence equipment and technological cooperation and invited Japanese industries to invest in India’s defence corridors. The Minister reviewed defence cooperation and regional security situation during talks with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada here. “The two Ministers reviewed various aspects of bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional affairs.

They acknowledged the importance of India-Japan defence partnership and the critical role it will play in ensuring free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region,” the Defence Ministry said. The Minister invited Japanese industries to invest in India’s defence corridors where he said a conducive environment has been created by the government.

During the delegation-level talks, Rajnath Singh highlighted that the growing complexities in the India-Japan bilateral defence exercises was a testimony to the deepening of defence cooperation between the two countries. The Ministers expressed their commitment in continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including ‘Dharma Guardian’, ‘JIMEX’ and ‘Malabar’. They welcomed the operationalisation of the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services Agreement during Exercise ‘MILAN’ in March this year. The two Ministers agreed that an early conduct of the inaugural fighter exercise will pave way for much greater cooperation and interoperability between the air force of the two countries.

This year marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Japan. After reaching Tokyo on September 7, Rajnath Singh offered a wreath at a memorial dedicated to the personnel of Japan Self Defense Forces. He was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour before the meeting with the Japanese Defense Minister. Rajnath Singh will participate in the 2nd India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue along with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.

The Japanese side will be represented by Minister of Defense Yasukazu Hamada and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi. The 2+2 Dialogue will review bilateral cooperation across domains and chart out the way forward. Japan and India are members of the Quad along with the United States and Australia.