India and Japan relations have a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilizational ties. India and Japan have decided to hold their first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) ahead of the Japan-India annual summit this year for “advancing cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region”. Background The Prime Ministers of Japan and India, in their vision statement in October 2018, had reiterated their commitment to working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. Developments that took place during India-Japan annual defense ministerial dialogue

  • The Ministers recognized that peace and stability of the Indian and Pacific Oceans are crucial for ensuring the prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the entire world.
  • Exchanged views regarding the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including developments on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea.
  • Both countries have decided to hold their first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2).
  • They also shared their intention that the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Indian Navy will make efforts towards participating in multilateral exercises including participation as observers.”
  • Expressed their resolve “to continue the trilateral exercise between Japan-India-U.S. I.e. (Malabar a maritime exercise, MINEX   a mine-countermeasures exercise) in the same framework from next year onwards.”
Developments in India-Japan relations that were also mentioned in the News
  • The Armies and Air Forces of India and Japan held their first bilateral exercises, ‘Dharma Guardian’ and ‘Shinyuu Maitri’, in 2018.
  • Last year, Japan also joined the India-US Air Force exercise ‘Cope India’ as an observer for the first time.
  • Implementation of the arrangement for deeper cooperation between the two Navies that was signed last year has resulted in steady progress in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
  • Also, negotiations for the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) is ongoing
What is 2+2 dialogue?
  • ‘Two plus Two dialogue’ simply means that two appointed ministers from each country, The ministers of defense and external affairs, in this case, will meet up to discuss the two countries’ strategic and security interests.
  • The goal is to establish a diplomatic and fruitful conversation between the two countries’ respective heads of defense and external affairs.
Developments in India and Japan Relations What is Maritime Domain Awareness? Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is the effective understanding of anything associated with the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy or environment of the country. India & Maritime Domain Awareness
  • India has two centers
  • Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) and
  • Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)
Located at Gurugram specifically for this purpose under the National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) Project.
  • The NMDA project was launched in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
  • The IMAC monitors movement of more than 120,000 ships a year passing through the Indian Ocean.
  • The cargo carried by these ships accounts for 66 percent of world crude oil, 50 percent of container traffic and 33 percent of bulk cargo.
  • Thus, IMAC performs a very crucial role in collecting shipping information, analyzing traffic patterns and sharing the inputs with the user agencies.
  • The IFC-IOR, which is a collaborative initiative by the Indian Navy in coordination with partner nations and multinational maritime agencies to Enhance Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Security.
What is the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement?
  • Once concluded, it would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistical support.
  • The ACSA would permit the Indian Navy (IN) access to a Japanese base in Djibouti, while the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) would be permitted to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean, which lie near the Malacca Straits.
  • ACSA will ease logistics for a number of joint Indo-Japanese military exercises apart from enhancing the strategic depth of bilateral security and defense cooperation.
Also read: India’s Foreign Policy Needs Rework In The Next Five Years