India and Japan signed an agreement on September 9 concerning the reciprocal provision of supplies and services between the armed forces of the two nations. The agreement was signed by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Ambassador of Japan to India, Suzuki Satoshi, in New Delhi.
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Self-Defense Forces of Japan. The cooperation will through the reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.
“The agreement will also enhance the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between the two countries,” the statement read.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said that the agreement will promote closer cooperation between the armed forces and enable them to actively contribute to international peace and security. The agreement was signed ahead of a summit between New Delhi and Tokyo over the telephone. The agreement comes at a time when India is working to strengthen its defence capabilities amid border standoff with China’s People Liberation Army (PLA).
Japan's Defence Minister Taro Kono has emphasised on increased cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to counter Chinese expansionist behaviour. Speaking at the webinar held by the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, the Japanese minister called for a larger mechanism to counter China.
"In order to check Chinese expansion. I think we need to force China to pay some cost when they are violating international rules, international norms...the US and Japan alone cannot do it. I think we need to work with the global community. So a larger regional mechanism or global mechanism would be necessary,” the minister said.