Japan’s Air Force Chief has held talks with the defence leadership of India during his visit to the country and discussed broader cooperation, weeks after India, US, Japan and Australia participated in the Malabar Naval Exercise for the first time since 2007. Japan and India, along with the US and Australia, are members of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad.
The visit comes amid the standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
Japan Air Self Defense Force General Izutsu Shunji reached India on December 9, and has held meetings with the military leadership. Shunji was hosted by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria at the Air Headquarters, and also met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. He also held meetings with Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Vice Chief of Army Lieutenant General SK Saini — Army Chief General MM Naravane is on a six-day visit to UAE and Saudi Arabia.
During discussions between Bhadauria and his Japanese counterpart, the two “recognised the progress made in defence ties between India and Japan and discussed avenues to further enhance cooperation and interoperability between the two Air Forces” and also “discussed scope for enhancement of joint exercises and training”, the Air Force said. “A broader cooperation for strengthening collective response to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) contingencies was also discussed.”
“Overcoming the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19, the visit reaffirms the deep-rooted commitment to maintain and strengthen the relationship between the Air Forces,” the IAF said.