Tokyo seeks to build defence cooperation with Dhaka

Isa Khan

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Japan has sought to establish a mechanism for building defence cooperation with Bangladesh, keeping in considerations mostly maritime aspects in the regions of the Indian and Pacific oceans, according to government officials from both sides.

Japan has also proposed opening defence wings that will include defence advisers with naval backgrounds at its embassy in Dhaka and at the Bangladesh embassy in Tokyo, they said.

‘There are scopes for cooperation on defence and appointment of defence adviser is a part of it,’ Japanese ambassador Ito Naoki told New Age on Thursday on the sidelines of a programme held at the National Press Club in Dhaka.

He at the programme said that Japan saw Bangladesh as an important partner regarding the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific, which is the top priority in his country’s foreign policy.

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies president ANM Muniruzzaman believes that there is significance in Japan’s plan for opening defence cooperation in the contexts of the Indo-Pacific Strategy propagated by the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, in which Japan is deeply engaged with Australia, India and the United States.

‘There are strategic connotations in allowing Japan to build a deep seaport in Matarbari after denying China to build a similar port in Sonadia,’ Muniruzzaman, a retired Major General of Bangladesh Army, told New Age on Saturday.

Both Matarbari and Sonadia are situated in south-eastern coastal district Cox’s Bazar that connects South Asia with South East Asia.

Japan is pursuing the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific through a coordinated whole-of-government approach considering the Indo-Pacific region as the centre of world vitality involving key sea-lanes and realising that stable development of this region is crucial for the stability of the world, according to the web site of the Ministry of Defence of Japan.

Japan has been seeking to leverage defence cooperation and exchange activities for securing the stable use of major sea lanes where there remains a range of security challenges, including rapid military modernisation and intensified military activities in the Indo-Pacific regions, according to the web site.

‘Security cooperation is one of the three means for achieving Japan’s defence objectives,’ it says.

Defence cooperation generally includes service-to-service exchanges through training, exercises, visits of war ships and contingents, technology cooperation and selling and buying of hardware and software.

Japan is the fifth, after the US, Russia, China and India, in the 2021 World Military Strength Ranking, according to globalfirepower.com.

Myanmar holds the 38th position while Bangladesh is 45th in the list.

Several countries, including China, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the USA operate defence wing at their missions in Dhaka.

Bangladesh too operates defence wing, led by officials at the rank Brigadier General of Bangladesh Army drawn from all three armed forces, at missions in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK, the USA and the UN headquarters in New York.

 

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Japan has sought to establish a mechanism for building defence cooperation with Bangladesh, keeping in considerations mostly maritime aspects in the regions of the Indian and Pacific oceans, according to government officials from both sides.

Japan has also proposed opening defence wings that will include defence advisers with naval backgrounds at its embassy in Dhaka and at the Bangladesh embassy in Tokyo, they said.

‘There are scopes for cooperation on defence and appointment of defence adviser is a part of it,’ Japanese ambassador Ito Naoki told New Age on Thursday on the sidelines of a programme held at the National Press Club in Dhaka.

He at the programme said that Japan saw Bangladesh as an important partner regarding the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific, which is the top priority in his country’s foreign policy.

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies president ANM Muniruzzaman believes that there is significance in Japan’s plan for opening defence cooperation in the contexts of the Indo-Pacific Strategy propagated by the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, in which Japan is deeply engaged with Australia, India and the United States.

‘There are strategic connotations in allowing Japan to build a deep seaport in Matarbari after denying China to build a similar port in Sonadia,’ Muniruzzaman, a retired Major General of Bangladesh Army, told New Age on Saturday.

Both Matarbari and Sonadia are situated in south-eastern coastal district Cox’s Bazar that connects South Asia with South East Asia.

Japan is pursuing the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific through a coordinated whole-of-government approach considering the Indo-Pacific region as the centre of world vitality involving key sea-lanes and realising that stable development of this region is crucial for the stability of the world, according to the web site of the Ministry of Defence of Japan.

Japan has been seeking to leverage defence cooperation and exchange activities for securing the stable use of major sea lanes where there remains a range of security challenges, including rapid military modernisation and intensified military activities in the Indo-Pacific regions, according to the web site.

‘Security cooperation is one of the three means for achieving Japan’s defence objectives,’ it says.

Defence cooperation generally includes service-to-service exchanges through training, exercises, visits of war ships and contingents, technology cooperation and selling and buying of hardware and software.

Japan is the fifth, after the US, Russia, China and India, in the 2021 World Military Strength Ranking, according to globalfirepower.com.

Myanmar holds the 38th position while Bangladesh is 45th in the list.

Several countries, including China, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the USA operate defence wing at their missions in Dhaka.

Bangladesh too operates defence wing, led by officials at the rank Brigadier General of Bangladesh Army drawn from all three armed forces, at missions in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK, the USA and the UN headquarters in New York.

maybe they should stop supporting Burma first. I'm not just talking about Japan but also other neighbouring countries.
 

Isa Khan

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maybe they should stop supporting Burma first. I'm not just talking about Japan but also other neighbouring countries.

Japan is anxious about pushing Myanmar closer to China and ruining its positive bilateral relations, if it imposes sanctions together with the United States and European nations.

The military regime appears to take advantage of Japan's concern.

China is not the only concern of the Japanese government. Japan's hands seem to be tied over Japanese companies' rights and interests developed in partnership with the Myanmar military.

The Myanmar military is also an industrial conglomerate and a major recipient of aid from Japan, with senior officers making personal profit out of it.

The post of the Japan Myanmar Association chairman is currently filled by former Posts and Telecommunications Minister Hideo Watanabe. His son Yusuke, secretary general of the association and vice president of Japan Myanmar Development Institution Inc., is an enthusiastic supporter of the military.

In addition to the institution, many Japanese firms including general contractor Kajima Corp. and trading house Marubeni Corp. are involved in massive projects related to aid to Myanmar.

That is how Japan's political business circles and the Myanmar military have turned into a politico-economic complex that shares the same interests.

 

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The dullardly fan boyism of the PRC (in certain gatherings) should maybe take a very basic cursory back seat first to be consistent on the issue.

Given the PRC regime has shielded the myanmar regime the most at the UNSC....it is not even close.

Instead we see rank hypocrisy when it comes to PRC by this crowd largely.

There is not even much of a basic sustained calling out of it.....and large numbers worship anything PRC-relation related.

There are of course voices of consistent dissent....but they number few.

Hopefully other crowds aren't like that one....otherwise BD will simply not be taken seriously on this issue.
 
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