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'Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement' to be signed soon between India and Japan

India and Japan will soon extend logistical support to each other’s Navies when Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) is inked later this year. This agreement is expected to further deepen the defence cooperation between the two countries.

Top diplomatic sources have confirmed that “The discussions related with the ACSA are almost completed and during the forthcoming, first ever 2+2 India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue, the draft will be finalised.”

“The venue for the 2+2 Dialogue has not been decided yet, but, it could take place in India as defence minister Rajnath Singh has just been to Tokyo and this agreement was on the agenda of talks,” the diplomat added.

Sources have also confirmed that ahead of the India-Japan annual summit which is slated for December, the defence and foreign ministers will meet and finalise the draft agreement which is likely to be inked in the present of the top leaders of both countries.

Also, at the dialogue ahead of the summit level talks, the Japanese side is expected to talk about the $1.65 billion deal ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft. It was also discussed when Singh had met his counterpart Takeshi Iwaya, Defence Minister of Japan recently.”

As has been reported earlier, these amphibious planes are of interest to both the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard as it will add to their strength and will be of immense use in the Search and Rescue aircraft (SAR) operations. While the Japanese side has agreed to manufacture these aircraft in India, and transfer technology, the project has not moved forward, said the diplomat.

The agenda of the first 2+2 dialogue between the two countries will also focus on the strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific, Defence Cooperation, and Joint Exercises as well as to participate in joint projects in the defence sector under Make in India initiative.

According to a senior diplomat, “Several private sector defence companies from Japan have been exploring the Indian market for possible opportunities. They have also been responding to various defence Request for Information and Request for Proposal, especially in the naval projects.”

Later this year, both India and Japan have also agreed to meet for the Fifth Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation (JWG-DETC).

The two countries are also preparing for the Japan-India-U.S. trilateral maritime exercise “MALABAR 2019”. This has been scheduled for late September early October.

Besides the Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are planning to participate as observers at multilateral exercises, both countries are also planning to have bilateral exercises on regular basis.

Ex Malabar ::

In 1992, Ex Malabar started as a bilateral naval engagement between India and the. Gradually the scope of the exercise grew and in 2015 it was expanded to a trilateral level to include Japan. Even Australia was keen to join this format, but India has so far not accepted their request.

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