Japanese Defence Minister Gen Nakatani will arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday on a three-day visit. The agenda of his visit is to deepen defence ties amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the visit, greater defence cooperation including defence manufacturing would be a focus of discussion with the top civil and military leadership besides the issue in Asia Pacific region.
Gen Nakatani’s visit comes immediately after international tribunal’s ruling which rebuffed China’s historic claim on the majority of South China Sea. The subject will most likely be high on agenda during the leader’s discussions with his Indian counterparts.
Gen Nakatani will hold delegation level talk with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on July 14.
During Parrikar's visit to Japan last year, Japanese leaders had emphasised on the commonality of strategic interests between the two countries and conveyed Japan's desire to enhance bilateral defence and security cooperation including in the field of maritime security.
They had also said Japan would like to further enhance economic cooperation with India and work jointly to enhance regional connectivity.India and Japan are looking at deepening bilateral defence cooperation amid Tokyo's ongoing tussle with Beijing.
Japan has been witnessing conflict with China over control of private islands in South China sea. A territorial dispute even exists between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands, which Beijing refers to as the Diaoyu Islands.
India considers relations with Japan very important, which is evident from the fact that Parrikar chose Japan as the first country to visit after assuming office of Defence Minister.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abehad had told Parrikar that "a strong" India-Japan partnership was not only in the "national interest of the two" but also "important for peace and security in the region".