India, Japan Begin Negotiations Over Military Base Sharing Agreement

30 October, 2018, 10:04 | Author: Bert Pena
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At the lunch session, Abe and Modi affirmed Japan-India cooperation for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to sources with access to the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe Monday held "fruitful and extensive" talks on Monday, discussing issues of bilateral interest, the Indo-Pacific region and threats posed by nuclear terrorism.

Earlier today, PM Modi addressed a gathering of industry captains from Japan and India in Tokyo, where he pitched India as an ideal investment destination for Japanese investors.

Relations with China are a major issue shared by Modi and Abe, as their cooperation might balance China's growing regional influence and military assertiveness.

The two countries also called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those responsible for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai and the January 2016 attack in Pathankot.

On the economic front, the two countries have agreed to a Bilateral Swap Arrangement that would allow their central banks to exchange local currencies for up to $75 billion.

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In another sign of closer relations, India and Japan are to hold their first joint military exercises involving ground forces, starting next month.

Modi arrived in Japan late Saturday - the same day Abe returned from a three-day summit in China - to be met by members of the Indian expatriate community.

On Sunday, Modi visited a factory operated by robot manufacturer Fanuc before being invited to Abe's vacation home near Mount Fuji.

There was, however, no development on the US-2 amphibian aircraft, which India seeks to purchase from Japan.

In an interview with Japanese media on Friday, Modi said his discussions with Abe "will be an opportunity to review our ongoing cooperation and discuss ways for expanding our relationship for promoting peace, progress and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific region and beyond".

During the joint statement, PM Modi said that India and Japan "agree that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health, defence, ocean to space, in every field we will strengthen our partnership". On September 6, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the first edition of the "2+2" dialogue with their United States counterparts Michael Pompeo and James Mattis in New Delhi. That is a vacuum Abe appears willing to fill. Among that will be monies dedicated to India's 500-kilometer Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project, which is facing growing opposition in India over the high cost and protests from farmers who refuse to give up their land.

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