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India, Japan in talks over procurement of US-2 amphibious aircraft: Japanese official

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Japan are engaged in talks on a proposal to procure US-2 amphibious aircraft by New Delhi, a Japanese official said on Tuesday.

Assistant Press Secretary in Japan's Foreign Ministry Natsuko Sakata also said Tokyo was expecting that the proposed '2+2' talks between foreign and defence ministers of India and Japan will take place as early as possible in 2019.

Discussions regarding US-2 amphibious aircraft are "still continuing", she said. India is eyeing to procure about 12 ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan.

Sakata's comments at a media briefing came a day after Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on a range of issues.

Replying to a question during a media briefing, Kono said the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project did not come up for discussion during the talks between the two foreign ministers.

"We are in close cooperation with the Indian side. There are many issues in high speed railway that we are promoting together...We are going step by step," she added.

India and Japan are collaborating on high-speed railway project, which has been planned between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Japan is also funding the project.

On the '2+2' talks, the official said, "We are hoping that this meeting can take place as early as possible this year...At the same time we know that you have elections, so we have to wait for the political situation."

Sakata added that the time and place of the talks is yet to be decided.

"The minister-level 2+2 meeting, of defence minister and foreign minister of both countries, would have a more higher level of strategic dialogue with each other," she said.

"Our defence and security cooperation is catching up with that of the speed and the depth of the economic cooperation," Sakata said.

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