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India-Japan summit likely to take place next month

NEW DELHI (PTI): The annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe is likely to take place early next month and its broad focus would be further expansion of the already close strategic and trade ties between the two countries, people familiar with the development have said.

The next month's summit will be a virtual one and preparations are underway for it, the people cited above said on Monday.

In the summit, the two sides are expected to seal a military pact on reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support, they said.

The pact will allow militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases and facilities for repair and replenishment of supplies besides facilitating scaling up of overall cooperation.

In the summit, the two sides are expected to review the entire spectrum of bilateral defence ties, including the long-pending issue of supply of the US-2 amphibious aircraft by Japan to India.

Both sides are preparing for the summit in the midst of India's tense border row with China in eastern Ladakh.

In a strong support to India over the row, Japan last month said it opposed "any unilateral" attempts to change the status quo in the region.

The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for over three months.

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