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India, Japan sign military pact as China tensions rise

Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement signed by Japan and India in New Delhi on Wednesday

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Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Modi

Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Modi (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan and India have signed a military pact that allows them to exchange supplies and logistical support amid growing tensions with China.

The Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between India’s armed forces and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces was signed by Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki and Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar in New Delhi on Wednesday (Sept. 9), according to the Hindustan Times. The pact will allow the two militaries to access each other’s bases for supplies and services during bilateral training, peacekeeping, humanitarian operations, and other mutually agreed upon activities.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a 30-minute phone conversation on Thursday (Sept. 10). The pair welcomed the signing of the agreement and said it would promote closer cooperation between forces on the ground.

The supplies and services covered by the pact include food, water, transportation, including petroleum, airlifts, communications and medical services, clothing, use of facilities, spare parts and components, and repair and maintenance services, the Hindustan Times reported. The pact will be in force for 10 years and will automatically be extended for another decade unless one of the countries chooses to end it.

India has similar agreements with the U.S., Australia, France, South Korea, and Singapore, according to the Times of India.

Abe said India and Japan were working toward a free and open Indo-Pacific and pointed out the special strategic and global partnership between the two countries among the major achievements in bilateral relations. During the call, Abe also briefed Modi on his decision to resign for health reasons, to which the Indian prime minister responded by thanking Abe for his leadership and strengthening bilateral ties, Japan Times reported.