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Context: India and Japan signed a logistics agreement that will allow the Armed Forces of both sides to coordinate closely in services and supplies and that will allow their militaries to access each other's bases for logistics support. 

Analysis

  • India has been signing MLSAs with countries primarily eyeing deeper maritime cooperation which is important considering China's rapid military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean and South China Sea.
  • Similar agreement with Russia is in advanced stages and are likely to be concluded by the year-end.
  • India has already signed such agreements with a few countries beginning with the U.S. 
  • India signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) with the U.S. in August 2016 after decade-long negotiations. 
  • Since then, it has concluded several such agreements with Australia, France, Oman, the Philippines and Singapore and gained access to the Sabang port in Indonesia.

Logistics Agreements 

  • Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement, simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military away from India.
  • The biggest beneficiary of the logistics pacts has been the Navy which interacts and exercises the most with foreign navies. 
  • When operating on the high seas, exercises or during humanitarian assistance missions fuel, food and other needs can be exchanged and settled through the established modalities later.