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Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya
Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya

Malabar 2019 to start later this month

ANI | Updated: Sep 03, 2019 18:09 IST

Tokyo [Japan], Sept 03 (ANI): The trilateral maritime exercise, Malabar 2019, involving India, Japan, and the United States will start later this month.
This was stated in a joint statement by India and Japan as both of them emphasized that stability of the Indo-Pacific region is crucial for "ensuring prosperity" in the region,
The joint statement comes after the Japan-India Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue which was held on Monday between Defence Minister Rajnath and his Japenese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya.
The two leaders also held a discussion on developments on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea.
"Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister of India is on a bilateral visit to Japan at the invitation of Takeshi Iwaya, Defence Minister of Japan from 2 to 3 September 2019. The two Ministers held the annual Defence Ministerial Meeting on 2 September 2019 in Tokyo," read the joint statement.
"The Ministers welcomed that the Japan-India-U.S. trilateral maritime exercise 'MALABAR 2019' will be held from late September to early October this year," it further read.
Malabar 2018 was conducted off the Guam Coast from June 7 to 16.
The Ministers also affirmed their intention to hold the first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) ahead of the Japan-India Annual Summit this year "for advancing cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region".
In June, New Delhi and Tokyo decided to hold their maiden 2+2 dialogue.
Singh and Iwaya have affirmed that the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) negotiation have shown progress.
"The ministers welcomed that negotiations on the have shown progress since the announcement of the commencement of negotiations of Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) in the Summit Meeting in October last year," it said.
The Ministers also welcomed the "steady progress" in bilateral cooperation in the area of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) based on the Implementing Arrangement for Deeper Cooperation between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Indian Navy signed last year.
On Monday, Singh also met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here and conveyed India's commitment to further enhance the defence engagements with Japan. (ANI)