NEW DELHI: India on Thursday signed a mutual logistics support arrangement (MLSA) with Japan, with an eye firmly on Chinas expansionist behaviour in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
The pact was signed by defence secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and ambassador of Japan Mr Suzuki Satoshi. The agreement will enhance interoperability between the two armed forces.
India has signed similar agreements with the US, France, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.
The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) inked with the US in 2016 gives India refueling facilities and access to American bases in Djibouti, Diego Garcia, Guam and Subic Bay.
The one inked with France in 2018, in turn, also extends the Indian Navys reach in south-western IOR due to French bases in the Reunion Islands near Madagascar and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.
The MLSA with Australia will help us to extend the reach of our warships in southern IOR as well as the Western Pacific region.
The pacts are crucial for India in the backdrop of China fast expanding its strategic footprint in the IOR after its first overseas military base at Djibouti became operational in August 2017.
China, of course, also has access to Karachi and Gwadar ports in Pakistan for turnaround facilities for its submarines and warships. It is also trying for military bases in Cambodia, VRead More – Source