Singapore, June 4 (IANS) The defence ministers of Japan and India have agreed to boost their trilateral security cooperation with the US.
Japanese Defence Minister General Nakatani on Friday said that “it is very significant” for Japan, India and the US, who “share the same values”, to strengthen cooperation to ensure the security of the vast Pacific and Indian oceans, The Japan Times reported.
Nakatani proposed that the three countries start organising regular high-level meetings, a Japanese official said.
Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said he will consider the proposal, according to the official.
The two ministers held talks in Singapore just before the opening of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier security forum.
This year, the Maritime Self-Defence Force will join the navies of the US and India in the annual Malabar naval exercise.
India and the US have been conducting the drill since 1992.
Japan, which has taken part in the exercise four times in the past, became a permanent participant following an agreement between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, in December.
Nakatani said the 2016 Malabar exercises will be carried out for a week from Friday in waters around Okinawa, close to the Japan-controlled, China-claimed Senkaku Islands.