Saturday, 25 Jan 2020

Japan-US alliance crucial for stability in Indo-Pacific: Japanese Gen at Rasina on Quad Grouping

New Delhi , Jan 16 : Military alliance between Japan and the United States is crucial to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region, said Japanese Gen Koji Yamasaki here on Wednesday.

"The Japanese military is interested not only in land, air and sea but also securing the cyber domain, outer space and electromagnetic spectrum," he said during a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue, which focused on the Quad grouping in the Indo-Pacific region.

Gen Koji said that the Japanese military "is interested not only in land, air and sea but also in securing the cyber domain, outer space and electromagnetic spectrum."

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by talks between member countries.

The Quad was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members.

"From a military point of view, it is necessary to closely co-operate with countries that share common values," Yamasaki stressed in response to a question about whether the Quad is about China.

Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir, who was also part of the discussion said the Quad will evolve organically because there was a common understanding among its members of what they want as the end goal.

Talking about the future of Quad Admiral Singh said it will grow organically. "The fact is that, bilaterally and multilaterally, we are operating together. If and when there is a desire to move further, we are almost ready for that," he said.

On the Indo-Pacific, he said such constructs are not against anybody but for something. Singh said that there has been increasing Chinese involvement in the Indian Ocean and the Indian Navy was watching carefully.

He referred to an incident in which a Chinese naval ship was driven away from India's Exclusive Economic Zone in the Andaman sea. Admiral Singh said that the Indian Navy had told China whenever its ships entered India's exclusive economic zones that it impinges on Indian interests.

Meanwhile, General Luc de Rancourt of France, who was also part of the discussion said that his country has a long-standing presence in Djibouti in East Africa, and has observed the Chinese arrival in the region. But the General remained confident that the "France-Djibouti relationship is strong."

Djibouti hosts the largest French military presence since its independence in 1962. The small coastal nation on the Horn of Africa is a mandatory passageway for important maritime trade routes.

China has, in recent times, stepped up its military presence in Africa, with ongoing plans to secure an even greater military presence in Djibouti specifically. Djibouti's strategic location makes the country prime for an increased military presence.