Japan has no immediate plans for ‘selling or delivering’ the US-2 amphibious aircraft to India, a senior diplomat was quoted as saying by the Hindu news daily Friday.
“There is no decision about its delivery nor did the Foreign Secretaries discuss the timing of the delivery”, Yasuhisa Kawamura, Director General of Press and Public Diplomacy of Japan was quoted by the news daily.
Kawamura, after India and Japan held Foreign Secretary-level talks in Tokyo on Friday said that though Friday’s bilateral dialogue, which was held on the side-lines of a trilateral meeting of India, Japan and Australia, discussed a wide range of maritime security-related issues, the issue of supplying US-2 amphibious aircraft to India did not come up during the talks.
The absence of diplomatic progress on India acquiring the aircraft is significant in view of the fact that during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India in December 2015, the two countries had concluded agreements on Transfer of the Defence Equipment and Technology, and, Security Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information, aimed at deals such as the one on the US-2, the news daily reported.
The joint statement issued during Abe’s visit had also mentioned that both sides were to work on 12-18 US-2 aircraft deal. The US-2 aircraft has been part of a long-pending demand from India and was specifically mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 2014 Japan visit.
During Friday’s dialogue, the two countries discussed enhanced maritime security and freedom of navigation-related issues in the East China Sea and South China Sea as well as security-related issues of the Indo-Pacific Ocean.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs, however, refused to respond to Kawamura’s comments on the aircraft deal.