Skip to main content

India, Japan agree to enhance security and defence ties

The summit meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Japan here on Saturday was a continuation of the efforts to forge closer security, political and defence ties by putting in place new building blocks and expanding the horizons of ongoing initiatives.

However, the talks between Manmohan Singh and Shinzo Abe also reflected the gap on the nuclear issue.
The visiting Japanese Prime Minister spoke on the importance of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which has not been put into force mainly due to India’s resistance. But Dr. Singh felt India’s own commitment not to test any more nuclear bombs should suffice to convince Japan into signing a bilateral civil nuclear deal.
The two countries signed eight pacts, of which half were connected with Japanese aid, thus indicating that soft loans and outright grants will continue to remain an integral component of Tokyo’s strategy of reaching out to New Delhi. Mr. Abe held out the promise of more aid, of which 70 per cent will go for implementing phase-III of the Delhi Metro project.
On the defence side, the two countries decided to make joint naval exercises a permanent feature and India, despite the experience of 2007, invited Japan to join the Indo-U.S Malabar series. Seven years ago, the presence of Japan and Australia in the Malabar series fuelled protests at home and from China leading to the dropping of the duo from subsequent chapters.
The Prime Ministers reviewed the progress made in selling hi-tech US-2 amphibious aircraft to India, with government sources saying final plans envisaged a transfer of a substantial number of such planes. This is the first time Japan is offering to sell a plane which has military uses as well.
With Mr. Abe setting up a National Security Council for the first time in Japan’s history, the Prime Ministers decided to hold politico-security consultations on a regular basis with India’s National Security Advisor, besides stepping up the pace of meetings between the Defence Ministers.
With a new government slated to take over here towards the middle of this year, two leaders decided not to let the momentum drop by affirming the need for holding three important consultations in the security arena after the change of guard — dialogue between India, Japan and the U.S., defence policy dialogue and two-plus-two talks, a unique forum for India involving the Defence and Foreign Secretaries of both countries.
Non-tariff barriers
Japan also lowered non-tariff barriers to import of shrimps that will help Indian fishermen.
Recognising the importance of people-to-people exchanges, the Prime Ministers hoped that the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer scheme would be expanded to uncovered sectors while visa regimes are being relaxed by both sides.
Taking into account the potential of the Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme for India’s economic development, the Prime Ministers looked at the possibility of extending similar programmes to other States.


Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…