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India, Japan and Australia held first ever trilateral dialogue

Jun 11, 2015 09:00 IST

India, Japan and Australia on 9 June 2015 held their first ever high-level trilateral dialogue in New Delhi.

The talks were attended by Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar, Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki and Australian secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese.

The representatives of three countries discussed prospects of cooperation in the fields of economy and security with special emphasis on maritime security.

The three countries agreed to hold their next round of talks in Tokyo, Japan.

Comment
The first ever trilateral dialogue among the three major countries in the Asia-Pacific region assumes significance against the backdrop of growing assertiveness of China in the South China sea of Pacific Ocean.  

India accords greater importance to Japan and Australia that is evident from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to both the countries within six months of coming to the office in order to operationalise his Act East Policy.

Indian naval officials recently were in Perth for talks on their first ever bilateral maritime exercises with Australia scheduled for September 2015 off the east coast of India.

Separately, India is also considering including Japan for 2015 Malabar Exercises in October 2015, which has usually been an U.S.-India bilateral engagement. Japan participated in the Malabar exercises in 2014 as well. This is in addition to the Japan India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) held annually between the two countries.

In 2007, India’s involvement in the informal Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with Japan, Australia and the United States – with all four participating the 2007 Malabar Exercises along with Singapore provoked a strong backlash from China due to fears of encirclement.

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