India-Japan Defence Ministerial Dialogue: Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh Monday co-chaired the Japan–India defence ministerial meeting with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi lwaya in Tokyo. This is first visit of Indian defence minister to the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resounding victory in the national elections held in April-May this year. Both the countries discussed the issues of mutual concern including ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral co-operative arrangements. Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh also discussed the issue of Article 370 of the Indian constitution and said the talks and cross-border terrorism originating from Pakistan cannot go together.
Rajnath Singh had earlier called US secretary of defence Mark T Esper to discuss India’s stand on scrapping the special status of Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir under the Indian constitution.
Japan is the second close military partner country with which Rajnath Singh has discussed the issue of Article 370 in a bid to consolidate India’s global position on the issue.
Rajnath Singh also invited participation of Japanese companies and other stakeholders at biennial Defence Expo 2020 to be held in Lucknow.
The lndo-Pacific vision was discussed at length with an expression of India’s preference for a rules-based order along with centrality of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and inclusiveness and security for all.
The importance of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan in addressing regional peace, security and stability was also highlighted. Furthermore, the two Ministers had free and frank discussion on the emerging regional security scenario.