Aug. 21 (UPI) -- India and Japan have begun talks on a defense-sharing pact, according to multiple press reports.
The aim of the meeting between Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is to jointly work to buffer against growing Chinese power in South Asia, Kyodo News reported Tuesday.
Onodera said Japan would promote "fundamental values such as freedom of navigation and the rule of law," in a statement that appeared to be directed at China, and Beijing's attempt to claim the South China Sea as its territorial waters.
An agreement with the acronym ACSA would allow the countries to share defense capabilities and supplies -- including fuel and munitions, according to the report.
India and Japan's defense ties will be expanded to include an unprecedented joint military exercise in counter-terrorism, The Times of India reported Monday.
"Security cooperation between Japan and India is vital for regional stability, and we will continue to deepen our partnership," Onodera said in New Delhi.
Japan's air self-defense force will take part in U.S.-India joint training as an observer.
The two defense ministers also agreed to fully implement international sanctions against North Korea until complete denuclearization, according to Kyodo.
U.S. President Donald Trump has encouraged regional powers to work together for a "shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific" at a time when China has been promoting a Beijing-led initiative to grow investment and trade in the region through its "One Belt, One Road" initiative.