New Delhi (Sputnik): India and Japan are hoping to conduct their first joint military exercise later this year. Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera is expected to discuss this matter during his visit to New Delhi in mid-August wherein he will meet his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman. The final roadmap for the proposed military exercise will take shape when the two ministers give their stamps of approval during the meeting.
The idea was mooted during the 2017 India-Japan Annual Defense Ministerial Dialogue.
"In the context of enhanced cooperation between the two ground forces, the ministers decided to explore a joint field exercise in the field of counterterrorism between the Indian Army and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) in 2018," reads a statement issued after the 2017 India-Japan Annual Defense Ministerial Dialogue.
Last week, India and Japan concluded the fourth round of the Maritime Affairs Dialogue in New Delhi, wherein the two sides discussed ways and means to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and maritime security.
Last month, the Indian Navy, Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force and the U.S. Navy concluded the 22nd rendition of the Malabar Naval Exercise, involving aircraft, ships and personnel from all three navies.
The defense industries of India and Japan have decided to expedite talks on the development of defense equipment. The Acquisition, Technology and Logistic Agency (ATLA) of Japan and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India had agreed to kick-start technical discussions for research collaboration in areas involving unmanned Ground vehicles and robotics.