Tokyo: India and Japan on Monday reaffirmed their strong defence ties, as visiting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and also met his counterpart Gen Nakatani.
According to an official statement, while calling upon Abe, Parrikar said Japan was the first country he was visiting after assuming office, which clearly conveys the importance India attaches to strengthening bilateral defence and security cooperation.
He said he would like to see a strong partnership with Japan in defence equipment and technology.
On his part, Abe said he wants to build a strong relationship with India not only in the economic field but also in defence and security.
"He said a strong India-Japan partnership is not only in the national interest of the two countries but is also important for peace and security in the region," the statement said.
The visit, Parrikar's first outside the country since he took charge as defence minister, is being viewed as an attempt by the two countries to join forces for countering China's growing influence in the region.
The statement said Parrikar and Nakatani briefed each other on the security environment surrounding each country and their respective defence policies.
"They reviewed strategic developments relating to international security situation with emphasis on the inter-connected Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
"They were of the view that in the inter-connected Indo-Pacific region, India-Japan special strategic and global partnership has a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the region," the statement said.
Continuing the high-level exchanges including the ministerial meeting, Nakatani will visit India in 2016.
While dialogues will be held at various levels, including visits by service chiefs on reciprocal basis, the two sides also decided to continue to conduct bilateral exercises between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy, and staff talks, and professional exchanges of test pilots between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force.