India and Japan are likely to discuss the rising tensions surrounding the South China Sea dispute when Japanese Defence Minister General Nakatani arrives in India on July 14 for a three-day visit.

His visit comes at a time when India has come under tremendous pressure from its international allies to take a position on South China Sea dispute. Japan has already said it is closely monitoring the situation there even as China has rebuffed a verdict

Apart from holding a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Manohar Parrikar, General Nakatani is scheduled to also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Although, the sale of ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft for $1.3 billion will top his agenda as it has faced considerable delay since Prime Minister Modi had expressed his desire to buy them, General Nakatani is expected to strongly push India to take a “meaningful position” in the South China Sea issues, sources told BusinessLine .

The islands under dispute had been main point of conflict between Japan and China. Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu had recently said “there is a danger to peace and stability in the region, especially in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, and Japan and India should work together to ensure Rule of International Law.”

Naval exercise

Visit of the Japanese Defence Minister comes a month after India, Japan and US held the Malabar naval exercise wherein warships from all the three countries held drill close to the disputed islands in the South China Sea much to the ire of the Chinese government.

India’s official view has been that it supports freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UNCLOS.