Rajnath Singh Meets Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Informs Him About J&K Move

Rajnath Singh also told Mr Abe that Pakistan had no locus standi on Jammu and Kashmir and that it was an integral part of India.

Rajnath Singh Meets Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Informs Him About J&K Move

The defence minister is on a five-day tour of Japan and South Korea

New Delhi:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo and conveyed to him that India's decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir will benefit the people of the region.

Officials said that Mr Singh also told Mr Abe that Pakistan had no locus standi on Jammu and Kashmir and that it was an integral part of India.

During his wide-ranging talks with Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya, Mr Singh also mentioned the cross-border terrorism originating from Pakistan and said talks and terror cannot go hand-in-hand, they said.

The defence minister is on a five-day tour of Japan and South Korea. On Tuesday, he will leave for Seoul from Tokyo.

In the annual Indo-Japan defence ministerial talks, the two sides discussed ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral defence cooperation and resolved to adopt new initiatives towards achieving peace and security in the region, officials said.

"Had an extremely fruitful ministerial level dialogue with Japan's Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya in Tokyo. We discussed the full spectrum of India-Japan defence cooperation," Mr Singh tweeted.

The officials said the two sides also deliberated on the overall situation in the Indo-Pacific region where China has been increasing its military presence.

"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 Defence Ministry said in a statement.

India, Japan and the US have been part of the annual Malabar maritime exercise which is aimed at achieving greater interoperability among the navies of the three countries.

The ministry said the importance of the special strategic and global partnership between India and Japan in addressing regional peace, security and stability was also highlighted during the talks.

"Furthermore, the two ministers had a free and frank discussion on the emerging regional security scenario," it added.

The ministry said the defence minister also "discussed abrogation of
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and said talks and cross-border terrorism originating from Pakistan cannot go together."

Mr Singh termed his meeting with Abe "excellent".

"India attaches the highest priority to our bilateral relationship with Japan. I conveyed to him the government of India''s commitment to further enhance the defence engagements between both the countries," he tweeted.

He also said that regular interactions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abe put the special strategic and global partnership between India-Japan on a higher pedestal.

"It has added a new strategic depth to our defence cooperation," he said.

In South Korea, Mr Singh will have a bilateral dialogue with Jeong Kyeong-Doo, Minister of National Defence. He will also call on South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-Yon.

A CEO's Forum followed by a Business-to-Government (B2G) meeting will also be held in Seoul with the participation of members of defence industry from both sides with the aim to encourage India-ROK defence industry cooperation.

"The focus of the visit to South Korea will be to explore new areas of defence cooperation including co-development of military hardware," the official said.

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