Keeping up with its agenda of boosting military ties with various countries, the Indian Army Chief Gen.Bikram Singh will be visiting Japan by September-end as well as Bangladesh in October. The Indian Army Chief will be in Japan from September 30 to October 2. Following the Japan visit, the Army Chief will be in Bangladesh from October 3 to October 6.
During the Indian Army Chief’s visit to Japan starting this month-end, Gen. Bikram Singh will hold meetings with the top Japanese military leaders to discuss ways of further strengthening Defence ties between the two nations. In the past, numerous high level visits between the two sides have taken place including the talks between their Defence Ministers.
Meanwhile, India and Japan have been conducting coordinated patrols in the Gulf of Aden while carrying out anti-piracy operations in that region along with China. India and Japan will also start having bilateral exercises between their navies in the near future. Ships from the Indian and Japanese naval forces have held joint military exercises in waters off Tokyo few months ago. While the exercises were small in scale, they highlight the growing relationship between the two countries.
Both India and Japan have been devising means to boost military ties in fields ranging from counter-terrorism and anti-piracy measures to Defence research and development and training. Both nations are also stepping up ties to address regional and global security challenges. The navies and coast guards of the two countries are already exercising together to learn from each other and build interoperability.
Following the Japan visit, Army Chief Gen. Singh will proceed towards Bangladesh where he intends to stay from October 3 to October 6. India has been trying to establish mutual trust and greater military ties with its immediate neighbor Bangladesh. Last year, Gen Singh's predecessor Gen V K Singh had also visited Bangladesh while the Bangladeshi Army Chief Gen Mohammed Abdul Mubeen visited India in November last year.
In March this year, IAF Chief NAK Browne had also gone to Bangladesh to step-up bilateral military ties between the two countries. The Indian air chief held talks with the three Bangladeshi service chiefs - General Mohammed Abdul Mubeen of the army, Air Marshal S.M. Ziaur Rahman of the air force and Vice-Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed of the navy. During the IAF Chief’s visit, it was assured that the exchange of training and experience-sharing between the air force officers of India and Bangladesh would continue in the future.