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2019-09-04

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International Relations
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Rajnath Singh rides on the Shinkansen train to the Hamamatsu air base from Shin-Yokohama on Tuesday.PTI-  

India and Japan have decided to hold their first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) ahead of the Japan-India annual summit this year for “advancing cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region”. A meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Japanese counterpart, Takeshi Iwaya, at the India-Japan annual defence ministerial dialogue reached the accord, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

“The Ministers recognised that peace and stability of the Indian and Pacific Oceans are crucial for ensuring prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the entire world, and had a frank exchange of views on the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including developments on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement. The Ministers shared their views on exploring cooperation with countries in the Indo-Pacific region through various initiatives that would further the shared vision of peace and stability, it added.

The Prime Ministers of Japan and India, in their vision statement in October 2018, had reiterated their commitment to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. Mr. Singh is on a two-day visit to Japan, during which he also met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He will proceed to South Korea from Japan.

The Ministry said that the two Ministers “shared their intention that Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Indian Navy will make efforts towards participating in multilateral exercises including participation as observers”.

In this regard, the Ministers welcomed both the Japan-India-U.S. trilateral maritime exercise ‘Malabar 2019’, which would be held from late September to early October, and the second Japan-India-U.S. trilateral mine-countermeasures exercise (MINEX) that was held in July, and expressed their resolve “to continue the trilateral exercise in the same framework from next year.”

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