India, Japan start dialogue to counter terror, piracy


Prime VIP
New Delhi, July 6

Days after they held negotiations on a civil nuclear deal, India and Japan today kick-started a path-breaking ‘2 + 2 dialogue’ to intensify counter-terror and anti-piracy cooperation.

The Indian side was led by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar while the Japanese side was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Kenichiro Sasae and Vice Defence Minister Kimito Nakae. The ‘2 + 2 dialogue’ was announced during then Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s visit to India in December 2009. Besides India, Japan has such a dialogue framework with only the US and Australia, reflecting the importance Tokyo attaches to an emerging India.

The External Affairs Ministry said at today’s meeting each side provided the other with an exposition of its defence and security policies in the framework of their respective security environments. In this background, the two sides reviewed the India-Japan joint declaration on security cooperation and the action plan to advance such cooperation.

They also discussed non-traditional threats to security and decided to hold the next meeting of the India-Japan joint working group on counter-terrorism at an early date. Ways to strengthen cooperation in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and holding of joint naval exercises were reviewed.

The two sides exchanged views on the regional and international security situation. The next round of the ‘2 + 2 dialogue’ will be held in Tokyo in 2011. The two sides are also understood to have discussed the prospects of the early conclusion of a nuclear deal.

The two-day talks between officials last week on the civil nuclear cooperation were widely hailed as a breakthrough as it marked a major softening on part of Japan, the only country to have been attacked by nuclear weapons, that is opposed to doing atomic business with a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.