India, Japan to increase cooperation in peace-keeping and disaster relief measures

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Tokyo, Nov 9 (ANI): India and Japan today expressed their firm determination to take forward bilateral defence exchanges and cooperation in a meaningful way.

In a joint press statement issued at the end of a comprehensive review of defence cooperation issues at a meeting between the visiting Defence Minister AK Antony and his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa here, the two sides expressed their commitment to contribute to bilateral and regional cooperation, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in the field of peace-keeping, peace-building and disaster relief.

Both ministers held indepth discussions on defence exchanges and cooperation.

Regional and international security situation also came up for discussion at the meeting. he two ministers condemned terrorist activities and expressed their determination to enhance cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

The two countries also recognized their mutual interest in the safety of sea-lines of communications and welcomed recent reinforcement of cooperation in the field of maritime security between the two defence authorities and the inauguration of Japan-India Maritime Security Dialogue, which was held in India last month.

They shared international concerns on piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and expressed their support for international efforts of anti-piracy.

They also expressed their determination to accelerate bilateral discussions on various measures to further promote Defence Exchanges and cooperation through a Defence Action Plan, as envisaged between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in October last year.

The two sides will develop such an action plan and hoped that the same would be signed during the visit of Prime Minister Hatoyama to India for the Annual Summit.

The two sides also reiterated the importance of strengthening Service-to-Service exchanges such as Staff Talks including Navy-to-Navy and Ground-to-Ground Staff Talks, as well as bilateral exercises between Japan Self Defence Forces and the Indian Armed Forces. (ANI)

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