India, Japan finalize cyber security pact2 min read . Updated: 07 Oct 2020, 04:19 PM IST
- The next annual bilateral summit between the prime ministers of India and Japan would be hosted by the Indian government at a 'mutually convenient time'
NEW DELHI: Weeks after India and Japan concluded a logistics support pact, aimed at closer cooperation between their militaries, the two countries on Wednesday said they had finalized a cyber security deal as both agreed on the need for robust and resilient digital and cyber systems.
A joint statement after the 13 round of the India-Japan strategic dialogue in Tokyo on Wednesday also said the foreign ministers of the two countries – S Jaishankar of India and Motegi Toshimitsu of Japan – were of the view that a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region “must be premised on diversified and resilient supply chains."
In this context, the two ministers “welcomed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries." The initiative comes in the context of countries looking to diversify supply chains out of China after Beijing abruptly closed factories and units in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic erupting there, sending economic activity into a tailspin across the world. The move threw up the question of reliability of supply chains based in China with countries looking to broaden the sources for critical procurements. In September, the trade ministers of India, Australia, and Japan had agreed to launch an initiative on supply chain resilience.
Jaishankar arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday for the second India-US-Australia-Japan – “Quad" – foreign ministers’ meeting. On Tuesday, he had bilateral meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne.
On cooperation in cyber security, the joint statement said that “recognizing the increasing role being played by digital technologies, the two ministers highlighted the need for robust and resilient digital and cyber systems."
In this context, the two welcomed “welcomed the finalization of the text of the cybersecurity agreement. The agreement promotes cooperation in capacity building, research and development, security and resilience in the areas of Critical Information Infrastructure, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others," the statement said. In New Delhi, the pact was cleared at a Cabinet meeting headed by prime minister Narendra Modi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
According to two people familiar with the developments, India has been in consultations with Japan and Australia on 5G technology and safety concerns regarding it. According to news reports, Australia and Japan decided to exclude Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from their telecom networks and services in 2018.
The two ministers reaffirmed mutual trust and shared values and reviewed the progress made in India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership. They discussed “convergence in various areas, including maritime security, trade and investment, manufacturing, skill development, connectivity and infrastructure, health and wellness, Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) and UN Reforms," the statement said.
The ministers also agreed that the next annual bilateral summit between the prime ministers of India and Japan would be hosted by the Indian government “at a mutually convenient time for the two Prime Ministers," the statement added.