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With China in mind, Modi-Abe to delve on boosting defence ties

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are likely to deliberate extensively on bolstering defence and security ties during the annual summit talks being held in Gandhinagar tomorrow in the backdrop of China's growing assertiveness in the region.

There may be specific discussions on the long-pending Indian proposal to buy the US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan and joint development of military equipment to further deepen the defence ties in sync with strategic partnership between the two countries, official sources said.

The annual Indo-Japan summit is taking place amid escalating tension in the region following the nuclear test by North Korea and China's combative posturing in the resource- rich South China Sea, and Modi and Abe are expected to deliberate on them.

The two prime ministers may also explore ways to further deepen ties between the navies of the two countries to check China's heightened activities in the Indian Ocean.

Reflecting growing congruence in ties, Japan had thrown its weight behind India during the Dokalam standoff. Ahead of Abe's visit here, the India-Japan annual defence ministerial dialogue had taken place in Tokyo during which co-production of military equipment, dual use technologies and New Delhi's proposal to buy the US-2 ShinMaywa aircraft were discussed.

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