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New Delhi : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh co-chaired the Japan – India Defence Ministerial Meeting with Defence Minister of Japan Takeshi lwaya in Tokyo on September 2, 2019. They discussed various issues of mutual concern including ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral co-operative arrangements and adopt new initiatives towards achieving peace and security in the region.

The lndo-Pacific vision was discussed at length with an expression of India’s preference for a rules-based order along with centrality of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and inclusiveness and security for all. The importance of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan in addressing regional peace, security and stability was also highlighted. The two Ministers had free and frank discussion on the emerging regional security scenario.

Rajnath also discussed abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution and said talks and cross-border terrorism originating from Pakistan cannot go together. He invited participation of Japanese companies and other stakeholders at biennial DefExpo 2020 to be held in Lucknow.

Later, Rajnath called on Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. During the meeting, Rajnath praised the exceptional relationship between Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He apprised the Japanese Prime Minister of the contents of the discussion at the Defence Ministerial Dialogue.

Rajnath also conveyed to the Prime Minister of Japan that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and abrogation of Article 370 benefits the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. He also said Pakistan has no locus standi in Jammu & Kashmir.

There was a general understanding that more co-operation should be realised in Defence Equipment and Technology Co-operation. Prime Minister Abe requested Rajnath to convey his regards to Prime Minister Modi whom he expects to meet on the sidelines of UNGA in New York later this month, according to a PIB release.

Earlier, Rajnath paid homage to the martyrs of Japanese Self-Defense Forces at Ichigaya in Tokyo. He also inspected the Guard of Honour at Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Japan.

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