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India, Japan agree to forge stronger ties

Abe agreed with his Indian counterpart and welcomed a joint statement on defence cooperation signed on Thursday.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 20:40 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Indian and Japanese officials meeting in Tokyo on Friday agreed that stronger defence ties between the two countries would contribute to regional and global security.

Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe during their meeting that closer relations would contribute to peace and stability in Asia and the world, according to Japan's Foreign Ministry.

Abe agreed with his Indian counterpart and welcomed a joint statement on defence cooperation signed on Thursday, the ministry said in a statement.

Under the agreement signed by Mukherjee and Japan's Defence Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga, the two countries will exchange information and assessments on a regular basis to tackle global terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disaster relief and peacekeeping operations.

Defense chiefs from the two sides will also meet regularly and the two countries will hold joint maritime exercises.

Mukherjee, who arrived Thursday for a four-day visit to Japan, also held talks with Japan's Foreign Minister Aso Taro and Kazuo Kitagawa, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Friday.

During his meeting with Kitagawa, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation to tackle transnational organized crime including piracy and trafficking of people, arms and drugs, India's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The two ministers announced that their countries would hold annual Coast Guards' talks and joint exercises for anti-piracy, search and rescue, and disaster relief, it said.

Japanese Coast Guard officials were not available for comment late Friday.

India's defense chief will travel to China on Sunday for a five-day trip.

First Published: May 26, 2006 20:40 IST

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