India is working to enhance its strategic reach in the Indian Ocean and beyond by clinching reciprocal military logistics pacts with friendly countries to counter China’s expanding footprint across the Indo-Pacific.
Japan has now become the sixth country, after US, France, Australia, South Korea and Singapore, with which India has such an agreement to enable military forces to share logistics to support each other’s warships and aircraft as well as bolster overall interoperability and defence cooperation.
“India is negotiating similar pacts with UK and Russia. The Russian one should be inked later this year. We don’t have the intention or the wherewithal to establish overseas bases like China is doing far and wide,” a senior official said .
Defence secretary Ajay Kumar and Japanese ambassador Suzuki Satoshi signed the agreement on “reciprocal provision of supplies and services” between the Indian armed forces and the Japanese self-defence forces.
With an eye on an expansionist and rule-flouting China, the ‘Quad’ grouping of India, US, Australia and Japan is also set to gain more heft now.
China, which now has the world’s largest Navy, is looking to set up more logistics bases