According to an official announcement provided by the US Department of Defence, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin III will travel on a four-nation trip that will include India beginning next week.
His four-nation journey begins in Tokyo, where he will meet with Japanese Defence Minister Yasukasu Hamada and other senior leaders, as well as visit US troops stationed there. Following the historic US-Japan “2+2” Ministerial meeting earlier this year, Secretary Austin’s visit comes as the US and Japan take crucial steps to modernise Alliance capabilities, optimise US military posture, and strengthen relationships with like-minded countries.Later on, Secretary Austin will travel to Singapore where he will deliver plenary remarks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
On the margins of the Dialogue, the Secretary will meet with key leaders to advance US defence partnerships across the region in support of our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, anchored in ASEAN centrality.Secretary Austin will travel to India after finishing his tour to Singapore. At the third visit, New Delhi, he will meet with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders as the US-India Major Defence Partnership gets modernised.
This visit presents an opportunity to expedite new defence innovation and industrial partnership initiatives, as well as to promote existing efforts to strengthen operational collaboration between the United States and India’s militaries.Secretary Austin will end his tour in France, where he will take part in festivities honouring the 79th anniversary of D-Day and meet with French and British defence leaders.