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India, Japan set to intensify defence cooperation

August 30, 2014 23:01 IST

India and Japan are set to intensify defence cooperation with the two sides likely to launch a security consultative framework involving their foreign and defence ministers.

The two countries are also expected to sign an agreement in the field of rare earth materials after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe hold a summit meeting in Tokyo on Monday.

Discussions are also expected to focus on civil nuclear cooperation and help by Japan in improving India's infrastructure, particularly the railways, and cleaning of River Ganga.

In the summit meeting, the two prime ministers are likely to agree to launch a security consultative framework involving the two countries' foreign and defence ministers, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported quoting Japanese foreign ministry officials.

Calling Japan and India "two major maritime democracies in Asia," Japanese officials said Abe and Modi are expected to affirm cooperation in ensuring a "peaceful and stable maritime order" in an apparent effort to curb Beijing's rising activity in the East and South China seas and the Indian Ocean.

Abe and Modi are expected to agree to continue joint maritime drills between the two countries and trilateral drills with the United States, possibly on a regular basis. They will also discuss a possible Indian purchase of US-2 amphibian planes from Japan.

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On the economic front, Abe is expected to push for use of Japan's 'Shinkansen' bullet train technology as India plans to build a train network between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in western India.

The two leaders are likely to agree to jointly produce rare earths that could be exported to Japan, a move that would further reduce Japan's reliance on China for supply of such minerals that are vital to the production of high-tech products such as hybrid cars and mobile phones.

Image: A Japan Maritime Self-Defence Forces US-2 search-and-rescue amphibian plane, manufactured by ShinMaywa Industries Ltd.Photograph: Reuters

Ajay Kaul in Kyoto
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