Japan, India air force officers' joint training to boost security ties

Senior officers from Japan's Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force have called for increased cooperation between the two countries through upcoming joint fighter training.

Japan and India will conduct their first such training near Tokyo from January 16 through 26.

Four Sukhoi-30 and other aircraft from the Indian Air Force landed at the ASDF Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Commander Ishimura Takahisa of the ASDF 7th Air Wing at the base said he expects bilateral ties will deepen through the training.

Group Captain Rohit Kapil of the Indian Air Force, who will command the training, said it will fortify the long bonding of friendship and enhance defense cooperation. He said it will also be another step in deepening bilateral strategic ties between the two countries.

Japan and India, along with the United States and Australia, are boosting cooperation in security and other fields within their Quad framework. The four countries apparently have China's increasing maritime activities in mind.

India is the fifth country to conduct joint fighter training with the Self Defense Forces in Japan, following the US, Australia, Britain and Germany.

The ASDF says the purpose of the training is to enhance tactical skills and to promote mutual understanding with India.