India and Japan have finalized a groundbreaking cyber security agreement to strengthen collaboration on 5 G technologies, artificial intelligence and vital information infrastructure, while the two regional allies are committed to further broadening their collaborative efforts to ensure a free and transparent Indo-Pacific.
Following a meeting between foreign ministers of the two countries in Tokyo on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the two sides had signed an agreement to foster collaboration in 5 G technology, the Internet of Things ( IoT), artificial intelligence ( AI) and core areas of cyberspace, among others.
The signing of the agreement is taking place in the midst of increasing concerns in India about cyber attacks from China , especially after India forbade more than 100 mobile apps with Chinese ties following a bitter border standoff between the two countries in eastern Ladakh.
Following talks between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi, it was also announced that Japan has agreed to be the lead participant in the Indo-Pacific Oceans (IPOI) communication pillar.
The IPOI is an India-backed structure aimed at making concrete efforts to establish a stable and protected maritime realm in the Indo-Pacific, a region where China has been expanding its military strength, raising global concerns. Jaishankar, in a tweet, said that further extension of cooperation between India and Japan in third countries with an emphasis on infrastructure projects was also part of the talks.
Cooperation between India and Japan on 5 G technologies stems from the increasing reluctance of a large number of countries around the world to allow Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to deploy 5 G networks in their territories.
The US has also blocked Huawei because of security issues, and Washington has been advising other countries to limit the activities of the Chinese Telecoms Giant. The 5 G is the latest generation wireless infrastructure with broadband speeds estimated to be 10 to 100 times higher than the existing 4 G LTE networks.
A statement released after the Cabinet meeting confirmed that the data security agreement would also allow for the exchange of techniques and best practices to support the credibility of the information and communication technology (ICT) supply chain.
It said that the Pact would reinforce collaboration in the field of cyberspace and emerging technology and ensure the defense of critical infrastructure and the exchange of intelligence on cyber security risks and disruptive cyber operations, as well as on best practices to fight them.
During the 13th India-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialog, Jaishankar and Motegi addressed a wide range of areas, including maritime defense, trade and investment, engineering, communication and infrastructure, and the reform of the United Nations, the MEA said. However, it has been discovered that Indo-Pacific was one of the main focus regions.
The two ministers also accepted that the Indo-Pacific has gained greater importance in recent times and emphasized the need for India and Japan to work together for the good of the region.
At last year’s East Asia Summit in Bangkok, Modi suggested the creation of an Indo-Pacific Ocean project to preserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and to make concrete efforts to create a clean and stable maritime domain.
During the talks, the two ministers shared views on regional and global issues of mutual concern and agreed that a good and lasting relationship between the two countries would play a key role in addressing the challenges raised by COVID-19, the MEA said.
In a tweet, the Japanese Foreign Ministry reiterated the importance of implementing Japan-India collaboration in third countries such as ASEAN and Southwest Asian countries and making steady progress on the high-speed rail network.
Motegi said he hoped that the assistance would lead to the improvement of India’s health and medical systems, including the COVID-19 response. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Jaishankar and Motegi exchanged views on cooperation in order to achieve a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ and reiterated their intention to continue to enhance bilateral cooperation, including the IPOI promoted by India. The two ministers said that the two countries would collaborate as quickly as possible to implement changes of the UN Security Council.