Syllabus section: International relations
Japan and Australia has signed a long awaited and historic “Reciprocal Access Agreement” to counter the growing influence of China in the South China Sea and in the Pacific Island Nations on 17th November 2020.
• The defence agreement has taken six years of negotiations. This will bring the countries closer amidst militarization in South China Sea and series of disputes over islands in East China Sea.
• The agreement will pave way to renew Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement.
• This is the first agreement of Japan to allow foreign military presence in its sovereign territory since 1960.
• Previously Japan signed the Status of Forces Agreement with the US in 1960 and with Djibouti in 2009.
• India and Australia signed the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement in June 2020.
• It is similar to the Reciprocal Access Agreement being signed between Japan and Australia.
• The agreement allowed reciprocal access to military bases and allowed the militaries to use each other’s bases for replenishment of supplies and repair.
• India has signed similar defence agreements with US, Singapore and France.
India-Japan Recent Developments
• Japan enjoys a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” with India.
• In October 2020, India and Japan signed Agreement on Cooperation in 5G, Artificial Intelligence.
• Both the countries also agreed to give momentum to the Supply Chain Initiative in the Indo-Pacific region.
• A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to enhance cooperation between the countries in areas of cyberspace.
• The External Affairs Minister of India also attended QUAD ministerial meeting in the month of September 2020.
• India and Japan held JIMEX 2020, the military exercise in the North Arabian Sea.
• In September 2020, India and Japan signed Logistics Agreement. This agreement will allow the armed forces of the countries to coordinate closely in supplies and services.
• In September, 2020, Japan extended Rs 2,500 crores of credit to India as COVID-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support
Source: The Guardian