South China Sea Current Affairs - 2020

India Japan hold 5th round of maritime dialogue

On December 26, 2019, India and Japan held the 5th round of maritime affairs Dialogue in Tokyo. The countries agreed to deepen their maritime cooperation during the dialogue. Alongside, the countries also held their 8th round of bilateral consultations on disarmament and non-proliferation. The countries agreed to deepen their mutual interests in maritime affairs.

India-Japan Defence relations

  • The first round of India-Japan Maritime dialogue was held in New Delhi in 2013.
  • The countries have signed Acquisition and Cross Serving Agreement that allows access to each other’s military bases. Through this ageement, India is now able to access Japan base in Djibouti and Japanese Navy are able to access Indian Naval base in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
  • The countries also hold JIMEX (Japan-India Maritime Exercise), that is conducted annually.
  • India and Japan also hold 2+2 defence dialogue. Apart from the US, Japan is the only country with which India holds such defence dialogue. The first such dialogue with Japan was held in New Delhi in November 2019.

Significance

India and Japan have convergent interests in maritime security. The countries depend on sea-borne trade to sustain their economies. Therefore, it is essential to work together on the security of trade. Regarding the disputes in South-China Sea both the countries have affirmed that a peaceful means of unilateral action is required in the region.

NIA hosts the first counter terrorism exercise for Quad Countries

The National Investigation Agency will host the first “Counter Terrorism Exercise” between November 21, 2019 and November 22, 2019. The CT-TTX, Counter Terrorism Table Top Exercise will exercise the Quad countries namely India, Japan, US and Australia.

Highlights

The exercise will validate and assess the counter terrorism mechanisms and will provide opportunities to explore areas of enhanced cooperation and will also share their best practices against emerging terrorism threats. It will also enhance the cooperation between the countries in terms of counter terrorism.

Quad Countries

The dialogue between the four countries was initiated in 2007 by the Japanese President Shinzo Abe. The first ministerial level negotiations of the grouping were held in September 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

The aim of the grouping is to share commitment towards countering terrorism, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, maritime cooperation and cyber security

The Quad Dialogue was revived in 2017 with tensions increased in South China Sea. The countries formed new territorial ambitions especially focusing on China’s increasing influence in the South China sea and in the Indian Ocean.

Significance

The Grouping is one of the best avenues for interaction between India, Japan, Australia and US in terms of maritime security and domain awareness. It is the best platform for the countries to share notes and collaborate on projects on mutual interest.