Military Band of India will perform in Self –Defence Marching Festival
India to take part in Japanese Self -Defence Forces (SDF) marching festival 2016
A military band from India will be taking part in the Japanese Self -Defence Forces (SDF) marching festival 2016 for the first time in Tokyo later this week.
This also coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan during which expanding security cooperation is one of the big agenda.
This marching festival of the SDF is actually an annual event, which is being held since the year 1963 and draws an audience of over 50,000 people.
The Indian contingent of 32 Army bandsmen is also accompanied by three officers and a drum Major. “Our team will be there from the date November 8 to 14. The invite was extended by Japan,” defence sources said.
The main festival will take place November 11 to 13. “There are some dummy runs, which would take place before that and the team has to get adjusted there,” the source said.
PM Narendra Modi to be in Japan during this time
Moreover, PM Modi is scheduled to visit Japan on a two-day visit starting from November 11-12, and sources have said he was likely to witness the parade.
In January this year, a 123-member French Army contingent has also become the first foreign Army who has ever marched on Rajpath during the Republic Day parade while saluting President Pranab Mukherjee and has witnessed alongside by French President Francois Hollande who was the Chief Guest.
Beyond the symbolism of the marching military band, India and Japan have also resumed discussions for the purchase of at least 12 ShinMaywa built US-2 amphibious planes worth over $1.4 bn.
While concluding the agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is on the top of the agenda during the bilateral discussion to be held between Mr Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, some announcement could be further expected during the visit, sources said.
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Differences over cost
The decision to further commence “discussions” for the sale of US-2 planes was announced by the two leaders in the year 2014.
But despite several rounds of negotiations at various levels, there was no headway due to the differences over the high cost, local manufacturing of components and transfer of technology.
Another reason, defence sources have revealed that with several other critical big- ticket defence acquisitions in the pipeline, this “deal fell aside in the order of priority.”
The sources also said the project was now back on track after some understanding on the contentious issues and Japan also agreeing to lower the price.