Japan, India Agree to Promote Maritime Security Cooperation

Pool Photo via AP
India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, left, and Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada participate in a news conference at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)—Foreign and defense ministers from Japan and India on Thursday agreed to promote maritime security cooperation in order to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The Japanese and Indian ministers expressed their opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East China Sea and South China Sea, apparently referring to China’s increasing military and economic pressure in the region.

At the beginning of their meeting in Tokyo, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada criticized China for firing ballistic missiles during its military exercises around Taiwan in August that fell within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“It’s a serious issue that affects our country’s security and the people’s safety,” Hamada said.

The Japanese and Indian ministers agreed on the need to make efforts to maintain the peace and stability of the region and to ease tensions.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that relations between Japan and India are of importance in bringing peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region.

Singh also said that the four ministers discussed bilateral cooperation over defense equipment and technology.

A joint statement released after the meeting said that the two countries will work on joint fighter and other advanced exercises.

It was the second meeting of the Japanese and Indian foreign and defense ministers following the first one in New Delhi in November 2019.

Thursday’s meeting was also attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.