India and Japan on Wednesday stepped up defence ties—an offer from Tokyo to sell US2 amphibian aircraft, more bilateral naval exercises and defence technology cooperation — as the two countries firmed up their political intent for a regional security architecture which factors in an assertive China.
Japan also offered its support to India for getting a full membership in the export control groups with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concluding his three-day visit to Japan, which he termed as India’s “natural and indispensable partner”.
“We attach particular importance to intensifying political dialogue and strategic consultations and progressively strengthening defence relations, including through naval exercises and collaboration in defence technology”, Singh said after meeting Abe.
In a significant development, India and Japan have decided to set up a joint working group to decide on the modalities on Japanese amphibian aircraft.
“The joint working group would also explore as to whether we can co-produce the aircraft”, said foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai.
The both leaders decided to accelerate the negotiations for the India, Japan bilateral nuclear deal and Japan also offered its support for India for getting full membership in export control regimes.