Japan Begins Military Talks with India

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Tokyo -- GSDF Major General Koichiro Bansho is leading the first ever staff-level talks between the SDF and the Indian military.

The main agenda item in this initial meeting appears to be to set an annual calendar of planned exchanges so as to deepen military-to-military ties between the two Asian nations.

Major General Bansho is one of the best-known officers in the GSDF, having led the first contingent of troops serving in Samawa, Iraq, in early 2004, and having received considerable media attention at that time.

Meanwhile, Pradeep Vasant Naik, the head of the Indian Air Force, will be coming to Japan tomorrow for a four-day visit. He is scheduled to hold talks with his counterpart, ASDF chief Kenichiro Hokazono.

Tokyo and New Delhi have drawing closer to each other in recent years. The unarticulated reason for this alignment is their mutual concern about a rising China.

In addition to the mil-mil talks that are beginning now, Japan and India are also launching a program of 2+2 Talks, which involve a joint meeting of senior foreign and defense officials held on an occasional basis.

According to the Indian media, the two nations have also just agreed on basic terms for a bilateral FTA which will be signed when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Tokyo next month.

The most controversial aspect of burgeoning trade ties between the two nations are the negotiations directed toward an agreement on nuclear energy cooperation.

India is a nuclear-weapons state that has not signed the NPT.

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