India and Japan came together to condemn North Korea’s September 3 nuclear test, a joint statement released after India-Japan Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue said on Wednesday.
The two-day dialogue was held on September 5-6, in Tokyo, between Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera.
(Though Nirmala Sitharaman was named the new Defence Minister on Sunday as part of a reshuffle on Sunday, Jaitley had said he would represent India at the Dialogue. “It is a very important security dialogue between the two countries ahead of the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit and therefore changes are not advisable. I will continue for next two days to complete the dialogue, and Ms. Sitharaman will take the charge of the ministry as soon as the dialogue ends,” he had told reporters.)
The statement said the Ministers exchanged views on the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
“They condemned in the strongest terms North Korea’s nuclear test of September 3, 2017, which is in violation of its international obligations and commitments, including under relevant UNSC resolutions.
It also “called upon North Korea to cease such action which adversely impacts peace and stability of the region and beyond,” the joint statement said.
The Ministers also expressed satisfaction at the success of Japan-India-US Trilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar 2017 in July, and confirmed their intention to further deepen and advance the objectives of this exercise.
Onodera expressed his intention to have state-of-the-art Japanese assets including P-1 to participate in the next edition of the Malabar exercise in 2018 and Jaitley welcomed his proposal, the statement said.
“The Ministers noted the importance of bilateral training interactions between Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). The two sides will consider inclusion of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training to expand cooperation,” it said.
In addition the ministers agreed to pursue exchanges and training by ASW aviation units such as Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft. The Japanese side proposed to invite Indian Navy personnel to mine-countermeasures training held by JMSDF.