India, Japan to step up military ties

New Delhi, Jan 6: India and Japan Monday decided to step up military ties as they discussed issues of regional and global security during talks between Defence Minister A. K. Antony and his visiting Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera here, an official release said.

“The two ministers extensively and frankly exchanged ideas regarding regional and global security challenges, as well as bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges between India and Japan. They shared views on issues relating to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region,” the release said.

Onodera briefed Antony about Japan’s national security strategy and the national defence programme guidelines, which were adopted in December 2013.

Expressing satisfaction at the progress of their ties, the two sides agreed to continue high-level visit exchanges under which the Indian defence minister will visit Japan later this year and also decided to have bilateral naval exercise to be held in Japan.

“The two countries also agreed to hold the third ’2 plus 2′ dialogue and the defence secretary-level 4th defence policy dialogue in Delhi in 2014 and agreed to promote exchanges on UN peacekeeping operations,” the release said.

The two sides also agreed to continue expert exchanges in disaster relief and counter terrorism between both Indian and Japanese armies and discuss possibility of conducting staff talks between their air forces along with professional exchanges of test-pilots and in the field of flight safety.

IANS