Tokyo, Oct. 30 (Jiji Press)–Japan and India are planning to hold a meeting of their foreign and defense ministers at the end of November in India, Japanese government sources said Wednesday.
At the so-called “two-plus-two” meeting, the first of its kind between the two countries, the Japanese and Indian governments intend to have final-stage talks toward concluding a bilateral acquisition and cross-servicing agreement to allow the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Indian military to share food and ammunition, the sources said.
The ministers are also expected to discuss heightening tensions over Iran, at a time when Japan is considering dispatching Maritime SDF vessels to the Middle East to secure navigation safety and India is deploying warships in the Gulf of Oman.
In October 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, agreed to set up the high-level dialogue channel with the aim of promoting the Abe-proposed initiative for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Hoping to boost security cooperation to check China’s expansion into the region, Tokyo and New Delhi aim to give a final touch on the ACSA plan at the two-plus-two meeting so that Abe and Modi can sign the pact during Abe’s visit to India slated for December.
Japan has so far concluded an ACSA with five countries, including the United States, Britain and France.
Chances cannot be ruled out that the two-plus-two members will take up the issue of Japan’s exports to India of defense equipment, such as the US-2 recue flying boat, the sources added.