India, Japan, US call for working together on maritime security, disaster response

New York: India, Japan and the United States in their first ever trilateral meeting today highlighted the growing convergence of their respective countries in the Indo-Pacific region and called for working together on maritime security and disaster response.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry during the meeting underscored the importance of international law and peaceful settlement of disputes, freedom of navigation and overflight and impeded lawful commerce, including in the South China seas.

They reiterated their support for ASEAN centrality in the multilateral political and security architecture in the Asia Pacific region and emphasised the importance of the East Asia Summit as the premier leaders – level forum for addressing key political and security issues of their region.

The three countries also agreed to work together to maintain maritime security through greater collaboration.

“US and India welcomed Japan’s participation in the 2015 MALABAR exercise,” the trilateral meeting joint statement said.

Recognizing their extensive disaster response capabilities and converging interests, they agreed to convene an expert’s level group on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to enhance ability to response jointly to complex disaster.

“The 3 Ministers launched an experts-level group on regional connectivity; will explore cooperation on women’s skill enhancement & economic empowerment,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.