As a part of next level of strategic cooperation between India and Japan, they have decided to work together to launch artificial intelligence and robotics in the defence sector. The two Asian countries are expected to set up a joint task force for commercial agreements before January 2018.
Japan’s state minister for foreign affairs and a close adviser to PM Shinzo Abe, Kentaro Sonoura was reportedly quoted by TOI as saying that, “You should expect to see increased bilateral cooperation between us to develop unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) and robotics.”
Working with India in the quadrilateral, Sonoura said, the aims were slowly crystallising. “Among these four countries, we have the same standards in terms of maritime strategy and basic values. So it’s important to realise these values — non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Its important to utilise the strengths of these countries and use it. Rather than frameworks, its important what we can do — to create concrete results which should be visible to the world.”
The key aim for India of the quadrilateral is to partner on non-proliferation and on freedom of navigation. Japan is aiming for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in 2018. It is a theme Sonoura expounded on at the recent Raisina Dialogue.
Sonoura added, “We need to share the importance of rule of law and freedom of navigation among related countries. The next step is infrastructure development based on global standards, so that connectivity among countries is increased. The third step would be maritime law enforcement andand disaster management that would ensure the stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Therefore, we would like to connect and combine our Indo-Pacific strategy and India’s Act East policy as a one big picture. That’s the synergy we seek.”
This new agreement is expected to incorporate a stronger bilateral relationship besides a multilateral one, between Japan-US-Australia, Japan-India-US and the Quadrilateral, Japan-US-India-Australia. The aim is to take away the strategic balance from China.