India Likely To Finalise First Defence Purchase From Japan

India and Japan will not break new ground during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit, which begins today. But as a detailed joint statement, still being worked out, will reveal, the two sides are digging deep in their bilateral relationship. Japan is now possibly India’s closest strategic partner in the world, as both sides converge in their strategic and economic outlook.

It will be in the field of defence and nuclear technologies that India and Japan hope to get to the next level. India is likely to finalise the first defence purchases from Japan, the US-2 amphibious plane that has been tossed around between the two governments for some years. Some element of ‘Make in India” may be introduced, but the two sides are looking at a future where joint development will be the key. Given the fact that bureaucracies in both countries are notoriously slow and suspicious, this will take a while, needing strong political push to get it off the starting block. On the other side, with the North Korean crisis deepening, Japan is looking for defence partnerships that deliver ballistic and cruise missiles, as was made clear by Katsuyuki Kawai, Abe’s top foreign policy adviser, who was in New Delhi last week. Read More…

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