Bullet trains to lay the tracks for India-Japan defence ties

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 14, 2017  | 10:13 IST
Bullet trains to lay the tracks for India-Japan defence ties

After the Doklam episode, security ties between India and Japan are likely to increase their military-to-military and defence hardware cooperation further and the two sides will hold discussions in this regard during the ongoing visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

During the Doklam crisis, India had deployed its troops firmly against the Chinese Army which was trying to usurp Bhutanese territory by building a road through there close to India's chicken's neck in the Silliguri corridor.

"After the successful handling of the Doklam crisis, India's reputation has been strengthened in the region as a credible and responsible power. The other countries affected by the Chinese expansionist policies would now come closer to us," a senior government official told MAIL TODAY.

"Japan is one of the nations which has had territorial disputes with the Chinese. We already have very close ties with them and the government is hopeful that the two countries would come close further," the official said.

National security adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar would also be present to discuss the security ties between the two prime ministers.

Japan itself has been at the receiving end of "Chinese expansionism" and faced difficulties between 2012 and 2014, when ties between China and Japan were frayed by a territorial row over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

The Japanese government also has been giving special attention to military ties with India as two days ago, during the Coast Guard Global Summit in Tokyo, Indian representative Coast Guard chief Rajendra Singh was seated with PM Abe at the dinner of the event.

Japan has also become one of the permanent participants in the Malabar series exercise between the Indian and the US navies where it was denied entry due to Chinese fears by the then Indian administration.

The two countries are also expected to make some development in discussions over the sale of the US-2 amphibious aircraft to the Navy which has been stuck because of the exorbitant price of the planes. An Indian private sector defence firm is now eyeing the deal for benefitting through offsets.

Japanese submarine makers Kawasaki and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have also been invited to take part in the Project-75 India submarine Make-in-India project along with other global vendors.

In his days as special representative to the Japanese PM, Abe was one of the most vocal proponents of creating an alliance against the increasing Chinese hegemony in the region and has continued that policy as PM as well.

During the Doklam crisis also, Japan had conveyed its unequivocal support to India and Bhutan in their dealing with the Chinese. Japanese diplomats were also briefed by Indian counterparts on the situation in Doklam and steps taken by India to tackle the Chinese threat.

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