The second India-Japan 2+2 ministerial dialogue took place recently in Tokyo, Japan.


What is a ‘2+2’ dialogue?

  • The 2+2 dialogue is a format of meeting of the foreign and defence ministers of India and its allies on strategic and security issues.
  • A 2+2 ministerial dialogue enables the partners to better understand and appreciate each other’s strategic concerns and sensitivities taking into account political factors on both sides.
  • India has 2+2 dialogues with four key strategic partners — US, Australia, Japan, and Russia.


India-Japan 2+2 dialogue

  • India and Japan held their inaugural 2+2 minister level dialogue in November 2019.
  • The idea of such a 2+2 meeting was initiated during the summit meeting between Modi and Abe in Tokyo in October 2018.
  • India and Japan have had a 2+2 foreign and defence dialogue led by secretary level officers from 2010.


Key highlights

  • Commitment to a rules-based global order —
      • Without specifically naming Russia or China, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to a rules-based global order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity.
      • They also emphasised the need for all to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, without resorting to threat.
  • Achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific —
      • The Ministers highlighted their commitment to a common strategic goal of achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific. A region that is inclusive and resilient, based on the rule of law and free from coercion.
  • On options necessary for national defence —
      • Japanese side expressed its resolve to examine all options necessary for national defence, including so called counterstrike capabilities.
      • The Japanese side expressed its determination to fundamentally reinforce Japan’s defence capabilities within the next five years and secure substantial increase of Japan’s defence budget
      • Indian side acknowledged Japan’s determination to reinforce its defence capabilities.
  • Joint Service Staff talks between the Japan and India —
      • The Ministers concurred to launch the Joint Service Staff Talks between the Japan Joint Staff and the Indian Integrated Defence Staff.
  • Noted the progress in the military-to-military cooperation —
      • The Ministers welcomed —
        • the participation of Japan for the first time in the multilateral exercise MILAN and
        • Operationalisation of the Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Self-Defence Forces of Japan and the Indian Armed Forces in the exercise.
      • They also expressed their commitment to continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including Dharma Guardian, JIMEX and Malabar.
  • Other areas of cooperations explored —
      • The Ministers also committed to seek deeper cooperation on HA/DR (humanitarian assistance and disaster response) and response to infectious diseases and pandemics.
      • They acknowledged the vast potential for the two countries to expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence equipment and technology cooperation.
      • The two sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation in the areas of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)/Robotics and the Sixth India-Japan Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation.
      • They concurred to further identify concrete areas for future cooperation in defence equipment and technology.