Amid row with China, India and Japan discuss stronger military ties, joint drills

Amid an ongoing row with China, the Air Forces of India and Japan discussed further strengthening their ties through joint exercises and training.

The two sides held wide-ranging discussions during the visit of General Izutsu Shunji, Chief of Staff, Japan Air Self Defense Force (CoS-JASDF) who arrived on Wednesday and met his Indian counterpart Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

The visit by the Japanese Air chief comes soon after the navies of the two countries held the Malabar maritime exercise with all four Quad members in it along with the US and Australia.

India and Japan both have seen aggression by the Chinese in recent times as Beijing has been having territorial issues with almost everyone in its neighbourhood.

“In subsequent discussions, the two Air chiefs 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.

“They also discussed the scope for enhancement of joint exercises and training between the two Air Forces. Broader cooperation for strengthening collective response to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief contingencies was also discussed,” an IAF statement said.

The Indian Air Force said that 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.

General Shunji will also call on Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and held meetings with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and other senior officers.


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