Senior officials of India, the US and Japan on Monday held their third trilateral dialogue that focused on firming up strategies to combat piracy, bolstering maritime security and leveraging their strengths to shape the the Asia-Pacific architecture.
At the talks, the Indian delegation was led by Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary in charge of East Asia in the external affairs ministry. US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia Robert Blake and Japan's deputy vice minister of foreign affairs Kenji Hiramatsu led their countries' delegations.
The three reviewed the last rounds of dialogue held in Washington and Tokyo and decided to enhance their cooperation to combat piracy and to expand maritime security cooperation, the twin issues that have acquired an added urgency in view of increasing incidents of piracy off the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.
India sought clarifications from the US about its so-called Asia pivot strategy which envisages roping in New Delhi as the lynchpin of security in the region.
Informed sources said Beijing was not discussed explicitly, but the discussions on maritime security took note of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and its forays into the Indian Ocean.
The three sides also discussed how they can cooperate more closely to shape the East Asia architecture and issues that will figure in the forthcoming East Asia Summit in Cambodia.