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Japan Signs Pact with Maldives

  • 23 Nov 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Japan, India’s strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region, has recently signed a pact to strengthen Maldives security infrastructure that would contribute to stability in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Key Points

  • The Maldives and Japan recently signed an agreement under the Economic and Social Development Programme of the Government of Japan.
    • Under it, a grant aid of 800 million Japanese Yen is to be extended to the Maldives Coast Guard and the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Center.
  • The grant aid will be utilized to further strengthen the capabilities of the Maldives Coast Guard, the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Center, Sub-Regional Centers and Vessels.
    • This includes the provision of communications equipment, professional search and rescue dive equipment to be used by the Maldives Coast Guard during search and rescue operations.
  • Previously in October 2019, Japan donated 21 paramedic ambulances to the Maldives health sector.
  • Benefits:
    • Combating Piracy,
    • Countering violent extremism and narco-trafficking.
    • Ensuring a free and open Indian Ocean that would bring about peace and prosperity to the region.
      • The Indian Ocean archipelago, that is home to nearly 4 lakh people, assumes geopolitical significance, owing to its strategic location.
  • Significance for India:
    • Maldives, a Toll Gate in Indian Ocean:
      • Located at the southern and northern parts of this island chain lies the two important sea lanes of communication (SLOCs).
      • These SLOCs are critical for maritime trade flow between the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Hormuz in West Asia and the Strait of Malacca in Southeast Asia.
      • The SLOCs are of vital importance for India since nearly 50% of India’s external trade and 80% of her energy imports transit these westward SLOCs in the Arabian Sea.
    • Pact with a Quad Member: The “grant aid” is the Maldives’s second major pact with a member of the ‘Quad’, an informal strategic grouping of the USA, Japan, Australia and India.

Source:TH

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