India and Japan have signed an agreement for providing supplies and services to each other’s armed forces, the Hindustan Times reported. Japanese Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar signed the agreement in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“The agreement establishes a framework such as the settlement procedures for the reciprocal provision of supplies and services between the Self-Defense Forces of Japan and the Indian armed forces,” a statement from Japan’s foreign ministry said. The statement added that the agreement will facilitate smooth and prompt provision of supplies and services between the two sides. It will also promote closer cooperation and enable the two forces to contribute actively to international peace.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe discussed the agreement over a phone call on Thursday. The deal was to be signed during a summit between Modi and Abe this year, but this is in doubt after Abe decided to step down citing health reasons.
“Both prime ministers affirmed that the basic policy of Japan-India-emphasis remains unchanged, and concurred with each other that the two countries continue to work closely in such areas as security, economy, and economic cooperation including the high-speed rail project,” a statement from the Japanese foreign ministry said.
The ministry added that Abe expressed “gratitude for the friendship and the relationship of trust” that he had established with Modi. The Indian prime minister recalled the time the two had spent together, and reiterated his appreciation of Abe’s leadership for advancing the ties between the two countries.
“Made a phone call to my dear friend @AbeShinzo to wish him good health and happiness,” Modi tweeted. “I deeply cherish our long association. His leadership and commitment have been vital in taking India-Japan partnership to new heights. I am sure this momentum will continue in the coming years.”
According to the agreement, supplies and services can be exchanged during joint exercises and training missions, United Nations peacekeeping operations, humanitarian relief operations, operations to cope with disasters, and evacuation of nationals of India and Japan from overseas territories. The pact covers food, water and transportation supplies and airlift, petroleum, clothing, communications and medical services, as well as services for maintenance and repair.
The agreement will remain in force for 10 years. At the end of 10 years, it will be automatically renewed unless either party decides to withdraw from it.