Once signed, the pact will allow the militaries of both sides to use each other’s military resources for repair and replenishment purposes

The India and Japan virtual summit due in September is likely to open many doors on the opportunities leading to a stronger military relationship between the two nations.

According to an opinion piece written by defence expert Dr Rajeshwari Pillai Rajagopalan, the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) which the two leaders are expected to sign, should boost the geographical reach and influence of both countries’ militaries.

The OpEd published in The Diplomat suggests that once signed, the agreement will allow the militaries of both sides to use each other’s military resources for repair and replenishment purposes. It will allow Japan to access India’s naval basis which includes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Similarly, India will be able to access Japanese bases such as Djibouti.

It will also include provisions to improve the scope of military to military cooperation, she writes further. The agreement will also enhance India’s own operational reach, most specifically for the Indian Navy.

Dr Rajeshwari Pillai Rajagopalan, a Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), further writes that ACSA can prove to be an important factor in India's efforts to expand defence partnerships with Japan. India so far has such agreements with the United States, South Korea and Australia, Rajagopalan writes further.

According to the opinion post published in The Diplomat, the ACSA will come at a time when the world is facing China’s aggression and Japan and India are looking for some respite from the Chinese hostility. India and Japan are both facing China’s policy of expansionism at Sino-Indian border and the East China Sea respectively. To reduce Chinese intervention in the country, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly shown a keenness in shifting some of its manufacturing units from China to India.

The India-Japan annual summit was due to take place last year in December last year in Assam’s Guwahati but could not happen due to protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the subsequent COVID-19 outbreak.

Read the full article in The Diplomat