Japan, India to step up arms drills, technology cooperation

Sep 7, 2022, 9:11 AM | Updated: Sep 8, 2022, 9:26 am
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, from left, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hay...

India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, from left, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for a photo at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)

(Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)

              India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, from left, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for a photo at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, left, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, speaks during a meeting with Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, with Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, second right, speaks during a meeting with India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, center, with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, speaks during a meeting with India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, second left, with Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, left, speaks during a meeting with Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, from left, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for a photo at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, from left, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for a photo at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, left, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, speaks during a meeting with Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, with Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, second right, speaks during a meeting with India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, center, with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, speaks during a meeting with India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, second left, with Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, left, speaks during a meeting with Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, from left, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for a photo at the Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, second left, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, right, are pictured at the start of the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, center, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, left, attend an honor guard ceremony prior to the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, second left, speaks to Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada at the start of the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, center, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, left,  attend an honor guard ceremony prior to the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, left, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for photographers prior to the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, center, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada attend an honor guard ceremony prior to the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, left, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada react after posing for photographs prior to the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, left, and Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada pose for photographers prior to the Japan-India bilateral defense meeting at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and India agreed on Thursday to expand military cooperation by holding more joint exercises and pursuing combined development of defense equipment such as unmanned vehicles amid growing tensions with China and Russia in the region.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said there was “an increasing need” for India and Japan to step up security cooperation. He noted Russia’s war on Ukraine, China’s increasingly assertive actions, including escalating tensions around Taiwan, and North Korean missile and nuclear threats.

Hayashi and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada held talks together with their Indian counterparts, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnat Singh, in Tokyo on Thursday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to substantially increase Japan’s military capability, possibly including pre-emptive strikes, which critics say would violate the country’s war-renouncing constitution. His government is currently revising the country’s national security strategy and defense guidelines, and is seeking to nearly double military spending to about 2% of GDP.

Japan is also seeking to expand military equipment transfers to support its feeble defense industry.

The four ministers said in a statement that Japan and India are pursuing joint development of unmanned ground vehicle technology, and will discuss concrete areas for future cooperation in defense equipment and technology. Japan’s earlier plan to sell sea-landing planes to India has been held up, partly by costs, Japanese defense officials said.

“Enhancing defense equipment and technological cooperation between India and Japan is one of our clear key priority areas,” Singh said at a joint news conference.

India and Japan also reaffirmed their commitment to back a “free and open Indo-Pacific vision” that Japan promotes with the United States as a means to counter Chinese assertiveness in the region.

Hamada, who held defense talks with Singh earlier Thursday, said bilateral and multinational exercises and other defense cooperation have expanded in recent years and will be raised to “new highs.”

Thursday’s talks were held on the heels of a major Russian multinational military exercise held from Sept. 1 to 7 in its far east in which China and India participated.

Tokyo protested to Moscow about the exercise, which included drills on Russian-held islands which Japan also claims. Japan also raised “grave concern” about naval shooting drills held by Russia and China off Japan’s northern coast over the weekend.

Foreign Ministry officials said Japan warned India against joining drills on the disputed islands and that Indian troops only participated in other areas.

___

AP journalists Haruka Nuga and Chisato Tanaka contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Japan, India to step up arms drills, technology cooperation