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IPFS News Link • India

A Japan-India Partnership In Maritime-Asia – Analysis

• By Satoru Nagao

Following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tokyo in November 2016, there is speculation that India and Japan might strike up a dynamic partnership in the littoral-Southeast Asia.[1] New Delhi and Tokyo have been active security players in Asia, with growing maritime presence in their near-seas. The Indian Navy and Japanese Self Defence Maritime Force have in recent years drawn closer, as evidenced by the increasing complexity to the Japan India Maritime Exercises (JIMEX) and exercise-MALABAR, where Japan is now a regular partner.[2]

Tokyo has also sought to expand its defence trade with India, with a reported bid to export the US-2i amphibious aircraft to India, as also to undertake construction of maritime infrastructure[3], most notably in the Andaman and Nicobar Island (ANI). According to recent news reports, Japan is seeking to extend its financial support via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to upgrade naval air bases and construct new signals intelligence stations along the ANI chain, with the goal of monitoring Chinese submarine activity in the region. The eventual aim is to integrate the new network of sensors into the existing Japan-US "Fish Hook" Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) network.[4] This would boost India's trilateral cooperation with the Japan and United States in countering China's assertive maritime policy in the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries have agreed to strengthen their maritime cooperation in the wider maritime commons.