New Delhi. Ahead of India-Japan annual summit which is slated for December this year, the Defence and Foreign Ministers will meet and finalise the draft Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) which is likely to be inked in the presence of the top leaders of both countries.
At the dialogue ahead of the summit level talks, the Japanese side is expected to discuss $1.65 billion ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft deal which had figured at the talks Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya recently.
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 (SAR) operations. While the Japanese side has agreed to manufacture these aircraft in India, and transfer technology, the project has not moved forward, according to sources.
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.
“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 (RfI) and Request for Proposal (RfP), especially in the naval projects,” according to diplomatic sources.
India and Japan have also agreed to meet for the Fifth Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation (JWG-DETC) later this year.
The two countries are also preparing for the Japan-India-US trilateral maritime exercise “MALABAR 2019”. This has been scheduled for late September or 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.