In a joint statement issued after a bilateral summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Indian Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe, India and Japan have agreed to begin formal negotiations on a so-called acquisition and cross-service agreement (ACSA) that would allow the Indian army and the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) to use the other side`s bases for logistical support. India signed the Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) with the United States in August 2016, after decades of negotiations. Since then, it has concluded several such agreements with France, Oman, the Philippines and Singapore and has gained access to the port of Sabang in Indonesia. The ARLS with Russia is expected to be signed at the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in September on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia. Last month, a delegation led by Secretary of State Jiwesh Nandan visited Russia to conclude the agreement, according to the Defense Ministry in its monthly report. Moscow had sent a draft agreement early last year, and the MoD sent it in July to the Integrated Defence Staff and the three services for their positions. The signing of the agreement comes at a time when India is caught up in a bitter border dispute with China and countries in the region are increasingly concerned about China`s persuasive power in the Indo-Pacific region. The agreements with Australia and Russia will largely be modeled on the United States, while the agreement with Japan is a broader agreement of cooperation in the field of defense, including logistics, said a second official. “If we get the LSA, it will go a long way to facilitating future activity, which means that the scale of the activity involved means that the paperwork is quite huge,” diplomatic sources said. A diplomatic source said last year that a refuelling exercise between the two marines last year had “become a modeling exercise, because we couldn`t really switch on fuel because we didn`t have an agreement on logistics.” The agreement provides for the creation of a framework for closer cooperation and interoperability and does not allow military personnel from both countries to use each other`s bases and facilities for repair and replenishment of supplies, the official said.
New Delhi and Tokyo have formally agreed to enter into negotiations for an acquisition and cross-service agreement. “The agreement provides the framework for closer cooperation between the armed forces of India and Japan on the reciprocal provision of supplies and services,” he said.