India-Japan Sixth Maritime Affairs Dialogue

India and Japan held their sixth Maritime Affairs Dialogue on September 10, 2021 in a virtual format.

Highlights

The dialogue involved exchanges on developments in the areas of regional cooperation activities, maritime security environment as well as the opportunities for cooperation between both the countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Background

  • First round of India-Japan Maritime dialogue was held in 2013 in New Delhi in 2013.
  • During first round of dialogue, both the countries signed Acquisition and Cross Serving Agreement. This agreement allows access to military bases of each other.
  • Through this agreement, India has access Japan base in Djibouti and Japanese Navy have access Indian Naval base in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

India-Japan Maritime Exercise

India and Japan also held bilateral Maritime Exercise called JIMEX, that stands for Japan-India Maritime Exercise. It is held annually.

India-Japan Maritime Cooperation

Both the countries are having convergent interests in maritime security. They depend on sea-borne trade in order to sustain their economies. Thus, it becomes essential to work together for the security of trade in light of the South-China Sea. Countries have affirmed that a peaceful means of unilateral action is required to do way with the dispute in the region.

India-Japan Relations

India and Japan had upgraded their relationship to ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ in 2014. Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (MAHSR) is an important area of cooperation in Railway sector between both the countries. In 2018, India-Japan Digital Partnership was launched to deepen the existing areas of cooperation and initiatives within the scope of cooperation in science & technology.

Common Interests

India and Japan are the member nations of G-4 grouping. They regularly conduct naval exercises, mil-to-mil exercises, coast guard exercises and air force exercises. Both the countries are facing difficulties in the maritime area because of China’s dominance. They seek to make the Indo-pacific a multipolar, free, open and inclusive region.

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