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India on Saturday said Japan would take part in the India-US Malabar naval exercises on a regular basis to deal with maritime challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
“They reaffirmed their commitment to continue discussions to deepen the bilateral defence relationship including through two-way collaboration and technology cooperation, co-development and co-production,” the joint statement issued after the summit said.
Both sides also expressed their “intention to explore potential future projects on defence equipment and technology cooperation such as US-2 amphibian aircraft”.
India and Japan have been holding talks for two years on the purchase by India of US-2 amphibious aircraft made by ShinMaywa Industries, which would be one of Japan’s first arms sales since Abe lifted a 50-year ban on weapon exports.
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar said a purchase of US-2 was discussed in Saturday’s meeting and the “matter remains under consideration”
The two countries have set up a joint working group on the US-2 STOL (short takeoff and landing) search and rescue amphibian and talks are in an advanced stage, defence ministry sources said.