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India's top diplomat points to 'new phase' in Japan defense ties

Jaishankar weighs in on awkward relations with China, Pakistan, Maldives

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks with Nikkei at his office in New Delhi, ahead of a visit to Japan. (Photo by Satoshi Iwaki) 

NEW DELHI -- Defense ties can be an "important element" of India's relations with Japan and should focus on collaborative procurement in the South Asian nation, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar told Nikkei in an exclusive interview ahead of a three-day visit to Tokyo.

"Where defense is concerned, we expect partners to be competitive," Jaishankar said at his office in New Delhi. "Also, the emphasis has now shifted to procuring from 'Make in India' ventures. Japanese companies should explore more collaboration. We are poised to enter a new phase of our ties and it is in our mutual interest that this focuses on contemporary opportunities."

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