Tokyo: Japanese Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto is reportedly planning to visit India in early December in an attempt to bolster military ties to counter China.
According to sources, Morimoto will discuss the matter with his Indian counterpart, AK Antony.
The Japan Times quoted the sources as saying that the two ministers are expected to discuss the possibility of turning a joint drill the Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Indian Navy held in June into a regular event.
According to the paper, exchanges between the country’s Armies and Air Forces and the promotion of bilateral cooperation on sea lane security is also expected to be discussed during the visit.
Morimoto`s visit is aimed at strengthening Japan`s military ties with India amid heightened tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and an increase in Beijing`s maritime activity in the Indian Ocean, the report said.
Morimoto will be the first Japanese Defence Minister to visit India since Toshimi Kitazawa went there in April 2010.