With eye on China, India and Japan to bolster defence ties NEW DELHI: With an eye firmly on China, India and Japan on Monday decided to consolidate and strengthen their strategic and global partnership in the defence arena through measures ranging from regular joint combat exercises and military exchanges to cooperation in anti-piracy, maritime security and counter-terrorism. This came during the meeting between defence minister AK Antony and his visiting Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera. "The two ministers extensively and frankly exchanged ideas regarding regional and global security challenges, as well as bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges. They shared views on issues relating to peace, stability and prosperity of the region," said an official. Onodera also briefed Antony on Japan's National Security Strategy and the National Defence Programme Guidelines, which were adopted in December 2013. Both India and Japan have long been wary of the increasingly assertive behaviour of China, especially in the contentious South China Sea, as well as the rapid modernisation of the People's Liberation Army. India and Japan will hold their third "2 plus 2" Dialogue and fourth Defence Policy Dialogue in New Delhi this year, along with the third bilateral exercise between the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and Indian Navy to be held in Japanese waters. The Indian defence minister will also visit Japan later this year. The two ministers agreed to promote exchanges on UN Peacekeeping Operations between Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Centre, Joint Staff College, Central Readiness Force of Japan Ground Self Defence Force and Centre for UN Peacekeeping of the Indian Army. The two sides will also conduct "expert exchanges" in counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force. The possibility of conducting staff talks between Japan Air Self-Defence Force and Indian Air Force as well as professional exchanges of test-pilots, flight safety experts and others are also on the cards. With eye on China, India and Japan to bolster defence ties - The Times of India ************************************************************ This does not look for for China, ,more so. since Abe has taken a defiant attitude towards China by going to the Shinto shrine that honours, to include those who did alleged atrocities against the Chinese. Abe's visit did raise a hornets nest in China since it was a total disregard to Chinese sentiments and honour. Now, with Japan moving closer to India through a defence arrangement, it sure does not indicate a comfortable time for China. One could expect a chorus rising out of China indicating that it is actually a US brokered arrangement. That would be even more dangerous for China.