Japan, India defense ministers confirm stronger defense cooperation

The defense ministers of Japan and India have confirmed that their countries will work to deepen bilateral defense cooperation.

Japan's Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh met in Tokyo on Thursday morning, before joining the foreign chiefs of their countries for a "two-plus-two" meeting.

Hamada said the partnership between the countries' defense authorities has been strengthened. He expressed hope for deeper bilateral defense cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Singh said he believes the two countries will have a defining role to play in ensuring peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

The defense ministers welcomed progress being made in coordination for the first Japan-India joint fighter aircraft drill. They also agreed to work together on concrete steps for cooperation on defense equipment and technology.

The ministers also discussed regional situations, including Ukraine. They agreed that all countries must seek the peaceful resolution of disputes without resorting to threats or use of force, or unilateral attempts to change the status quo.

Hamada told Singh that Japan intends to fundamentally reinforce its defense capabilities through the formulation of a new national security strategy and other means.