Taking umbrage over India’s move to include Japan in Malabar exercises, an official Chinese analyst has warned that the Indo-Japan defence cooperation is “dangerous for Asia” and the two countries should be “careful about it,” an article in the web edition of the state-run Global Times said Wednesday.

India will include Japan for its forthcoming Malabar naval exercise with the US in the Bay of Bengal in October
India will include Japan for its forthcoming Malabar naval exercise with the US in the Bay of Bengal in October this year

“There has been a clear trajectory of Japan and India deepening their defence ties in recent years and the relations are bound to be promoted since India will include Japan in the Malabar naval exercises with the US in October. The two countries are also exploring the possibility of air exercises,” it said.

Titled ‘Indo-Japanese military cooperation dangerous for Asia’, the article written by Lu Yaodong, Director of the state-run Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “with eyes on a rising China, India and Japan have been getting closer faster.”

In April, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar chose Japan as the destination of his first overseas visit in a way to demonstrate the importance that New Delhi attaches to enhanced defence and security cooperation with Tokyo, the article said.

“Japan has attempted to follow the steps of its ally the US and meddle in the affairs of East and South Asia, and its expanded military cooperation with India is surely no good sign for the region,” it said.

“If Tokyo continues on this path, it will certainly pose serious threats to the regional security and even dampen the common development of the region. Japan and India have to be careful about it,” the article said.

“Japan joined the Malabar exercises, traditionally a bilateral drill by India and the US, at the invitation of India in July 2014. Before that, the last time it joined the exercises were in 2007 and 2009. This year’s participation makes clear Japan’s underlying intention to build a maritime cooperation alliance in the Asia-Pacific region,” it said.

Pointing at India’s plans to buy 12 ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft from Japan, the article said New Delhi has its own maritime strategic perceptions that share some common interests with Tokyo.

“Military and security cooperation has gradually stood out in the bilateral relations between India and Japan. In the future, the joint exercises of Japan, India and the US, which share similar aims, will likely become a regular mechanism,” it said.

“Moreover, after relaxing its self-imposed arms export embargo earlier this year, Japan, eager to open new markets for its defence companies, will have more cooperation in military equipment export with India that keenly seeks to improve its military capabilities,” it added.

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