Rajnath holds telephonic conversation with Japanese defence minister

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono on Friday, focusing on bilateral military cooperation as well as on ways to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The talks between the two defence ministers came a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu exchanged views over phone on a host of issues.

According to a statement by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Motegi pitched for resumption of activities by Japanese companies in India. The companies had to suspend their activities since India went into a lockdown on March 25.

About talks between Singh and Kono, the defence ministry said they agreed that India-Japan special strategic and global partnership provides a good basis for both countries to work together along with other countries to deal with challenges post COVID-19 phase.

'Both ministers also conveyed their commitment to take forward the initiatives of bilateral security cooperation,' the defence ministry said in a statement.

In the talks, the two defence ministers apprised each other about responses by their governments in dealing with the pandemic.

'Singh informed Kono Taro on India's contribution to international efforts against COVID-19 and discussed areas of mutual cooperation in the global fight against the pandemic,' the ministry said.

India and Japan share close defence ties.

In November, the two countries held their inaugural foreign and defence ministerial dialogues with an aim to give further momentum to their special strategic partnership.

Defence Minister Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had led the Indian delegation, while the Japanese side was headed by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Kono.

When asked about Japanese foreign minister's call for resumption of activities by Japanese companies in India, official sources said Japan is a key development partner and both sides will work together to regain the momentum of economic partnership.

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