Strengthening Indo-Pacific Security: Japan and India Reach a Bilateral Agreement on Military Logistical Support


New Delhi

India and Japan signed an Agreement between the two countries concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and The Self-Defense Forces of Japan.

The agreement was signed on September 9th by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Ambassador of Japan Mr Suzuki Satoshi.

According to India Strategic:

This agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.

The agreement will also enhance the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries. 

And on September 10, 2020, the Prime Ministers of India and Japan talked with one another and highlighted the importance of the agreement.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs highlighted the exchange as follows:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a telephonic conversation with his outgoing Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and conveyed his gratitude for playing a key role in greatly strengthening ties between India and Japan.

In the talks, PM Modi apprised Shinzo Abe his intention to work closely with the new government of Japan and wished him the very best for the future, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

It said the two leaders expressed confidence that the strong momentum attained in partnership between the two countries in the last few years will continue unabated in the future.

Last month, Shinzo Abe decided to resign citing health issues.

“Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Abe for his personal commitment and leadership in greatly strengthening the relationship between the two countries,” the MEA said.

The two leaders also welcomed the signing of a reciprocal logistics support agreement between the Indian Armed Forces and the Self-Defense Forces of Japan.

“They concurred that the agreement will further enhance the depth of defence cooperation between the two countries and contribute to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” the MEA said.

“Made a phone call to my dear friend @AbeShinzo to wish him good health and happiness. I deeply cherish our long association. His leadership and commitment have been vital in taking India-Japan partnership to new heights. I am sure this momentum will continue in the coming years,” PM Modi tweeted.

After years of negotiations, India and Japan on Wednesday signed the landmark agreement that will allow their militaries access each other’s bases for logistics support.

Reaffirming their mutual trust and friendship, PM Modi and Prime Minister Abe recalled their shared experiences during visits to each other’s countries, the MEA said.

It said the two leaders reviewed the status of ongoing cooperation, including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, under the framework of the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

They agreed that the strong and enduring partnership between the two countries will play a critical role in charting the course for the global community in the post-COVID world.

The MEA said the two leaders expressed appreciation for the support provided to resident citizens in each other”s countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed that such efforts must be continued to sustain the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.

For India, Japan is the sixth country to sign such an agreement with India. The others are the United States, France, Australia, South Korea and Singapore. The focus has been upon strengthened naval cooperation through sharing logistics support and working to bolster interoperability among the fleets.

Ultimately, this about Indian focusing on extending its reach into the Indian Ocean.

Reportedly, India is negotiating similar agreements with the UK and Russia.

This agreement provides a boost to the QUAD efforts, involving the U.S., Australia, Japan and India as well.

Featured Photo: 2018 meeting between the two Prime Ministers. Credit; Reuters.

Also, see the following:

The QUAD and Its Evolution: An Indian Perspective