India – Japan amphibious aircraft deal negotiation in final stages

New Delhi: The negotiation between India and Japan over the purchase of ‘ShinMaywa US-2’ amphibious aircraft is in its final stages. Japan has shown its willingness to reduce the purchase price of these aircraft for India that are designed for surveillance, search-and-rescue operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Japan in the next month. A decision regarding the purchase of these aircraft may be announced during this visit. China has raised its objection over this deal and has criticized both India and Japan.

amphibious aircraft

In the last month, the Japanese Ministry of Defence said that ‘Japan does not expect financial benefits over this defence deal. Instead Japan values its relationship with India’. Thus, it is clear that Japan is willing to provide these surveillance aircraft to India at a lower price. Due to Japan’s readiness, the discussions over the ‘Amphibious’ aircraft that were stalled have started making headway. This deal received a sharp reaction from China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying claimed that this defence deal between India and Japan is a strategy against China. Also, China raised doubts over the deal by saying that Japan is providing India with these aircraft to pressurise China over the ‘South China Sea’ issue.

Under these circumstances, the news regarding the negotiation concerning the amphibious aircraft being in its final stages has been published. Japan has reduced the aircraft prices by 10%. India is in preparation of purchasing 16 ‘ShinMaywa US-2’ aircraft from Japan. This deal was made for approximately $1.6 billion. Previously, India was to pay 133 million dollars for each aircraft. However, after negotiation the price was decreased by 10% and is now 113 million dollars per aircraft.
 
Japan has made aggressive changes in its defence polices after the self-imposed ban on the export of defence equipment following the World War II. Henceforth, Japan will manufacture and export defence equipment and its decision to provide India ‘ShinMaywa US-2’ is a part of this changed policy. Therefore, India will be the first country to make a defence deal with Japan since the ban. The aircraft that India is buying from Japan are similar to the Chinese amphibious aircraft, ‘AG-600’. Thus, once this deal takes its course, it will set a balance in the Indian Ocean. That is why China is expressing its displeasure over the deal.

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