New Delhi

India and Japan Corner Pakistan Over Terror Infrastructure and Funding, Want ‘Irreversible’ Action

Author : Odisha Today Bureau | Posted on: 2019-12-01

India and Japan on Saturday described terror networks based in Pakistan as a threat to regional security and called on the country to take “irreversible action” against such groups.


The two countries, under the new framework of two-plus-two dialogue, discussed a raft of strategic issues including the latest developments in the disputed South China Sea, evolving security scenario in the Indo-Pacific region and ways to boost bilateral cooperation in co-development of military hardware, officials said.


The two countries also called for a stronger international partnership and enhanced intelligence-sharing to counter terrorism after the first combined dialogue of their defence and foreign ministers in New Delhi. The dialogue came ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s annual summit with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in mid-December.


Acknowledging the emerging security challenges, the two sides specifically decided to further expand maritime security ties and expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the negotiations for the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) which would allow the two countries to use each other's military logistics, they said.


While deliberating on security challenges facing the region and beyond, the two countries specifically referred to the threat posed by terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and asked it to "fully comply" with its international commitments to deal with terrorism including implementing the steps mandated by Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global anti-terror watchdog.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar led the Indian delegation while the Japanese side was headed by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defence Taro Kono, officials said.


A joint statement issued after Saturday’s meeting condemned terrorism and described it as a major threat to regional peace. “They noted in this context the threat posed to regional security by terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and called upon it to take resolute and irreversible action against them and fully comply with international commitments including to FATF,” the statement said.


Without naming Pakistan, the two countries also “underlined the need for all countries to ensure that all territory under their control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries in any manner”. They called for a stronger international partnership to counter terrorism and violent extremism, including increased sharing of intelligence.


The ministers discussed regional issues of mutual interest, especially the security situation in the Indo-Pacific.


In an acknowledgement of one of Japan’s key concerns, the joint statement referred to the “importance of realising North Korea’s complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions”. The two sides condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, describing them as a clear violation of the relevant UNSCRs, and strongly urged North Korea to “resolve the abductions issue at the earliest date”.


Referring to the importance of maritime safety in achieving a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific, the two sides said they would promote cooperation in capacity-building in maritime security and maritime domain awareness, including through cooperation with other countries. The Indian side said it looked forward to the posting of a Japanese liaison officer at the Information Fusion Centre - Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in the near future.


The meeting also discussed developments in the South China Sea, where China has expanded its presence and is engaged in disputes with several countries, and “reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including those reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)”.


Since last year, India and Japan have initiated exercises between all three services, including the Dharma Guardian-2019 and Shinyuu Maitri-2019. The first joint fighter aircraft exercise expected to be held in Japan and two sides decided to expand the scope of these drills.


The statement said the two sides would further strengthen their defence equipment and technology cooperation, including through the upcoming meeting of the Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation (JWG-DETC).


The Japanese ministers also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who stressed the importance of the all-round development of India-Japan relations for the benefit of the region and the world.


Modi said he and Abe attach “great importance to strengthening the bilateral partnership” and that he looked forward to welcoming the Japanese premier for the annual summit next month. Modi added that India’s relationship with Japan was a “key component of our vision for Indo-Pacific for peace, stability and prosperity of the region, as well as a cornerstone of India’s Act East Policy”.


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