India and Japan have decided to hold a joint military exercise on counter-terrorism this year, according to Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu.
‘’We are currently coordinating with the Counter-Insurgency Jungle Warfare School (CIJW) in Mizoram and other relevant organisations to prepare for the exercise,’’ he said at a seminar on ‘’India, Japan and the North-East,’’ in Shillong on Monday evening.
The two countries, he said, were also working to strengthen cooperation in expanding maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region.
Talking extensively about India-Japan defence and security cooperation, the Japanese envoy said the two countries were increasingly engaged in joint exercises such as India-Japan-US Malabar exercise. The two countries had also identified specific areas of cooperation in defence equipment and technology. ‘’However, we need to do much more in this field to demonstrate the strength of our strategic partnership. Currently, we are working hard to further enhance exchanges and cooperation between our respective forces in the air, sea and land,’’ he added.
He hoped that bilateral joint exercises and multilateral activities would become more frequent and wide-ranging, as well as more advanced in enhancing interoperability, including on anti-submarine aspects. In the future, the two nations would witness expanded joint exercises and cooperation, not only in the maritime domain but also in such areas as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and counter-terrorism.
Hiramatsu noted that in addition to frequent bilateral meetings at high levels, India and Japan were engaged in trilateral with the US and quadrilateral dialogues with the US and Australia. India and Japan were also working to strengthen cooperation in expanding maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region, he added.
He said the two countries had also started technical discussions for future research collaboration in the areas of unmanned ground vehicles and robotics. ‘’Our readiness to provide our state-of-the-art US-2 amphibian aircraft has been appreciated by the Government of India as symbolising the high degree of trust between the two countries. We look forward to more tangible outcomes in the future,’’ he added.
Hiramatsu pointed out that in recent years, Japan and India’s North Eastern region were starting to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The IIT, Guwahati has opened a Japanese language course with the support of a university in Japan and the Manipur Tourism Forum was constructing a War Museum in Imphal with financial support from a Japanese organisation.
By: The Statesman
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