New Delhi: India on Thursday said (April 21) it had received a formal request from Japan for ‘permission to land in Mumbai’ to pick up humanitarian supplies from the UNHCR depot for Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, and the plea was accepted.
“We have conveyed our approval for picking of such supplies from India using commercial aircraft,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters in New Delhi.
He also said, “We had also received a request for overflight clearance for Japanese SDF aircraft carrying humanitarian cargo for Ukraine. This was processed and approved as per established norms.”
Reports in a section of the media claimed quoting political leaders that Japan’s plan to deliver relief supplies to Ukrainian refugees has been “delayed because of inadequate planning with other governments”.
A Japanese ruling party senior functionary and ‘policy chief’ Sanae Takaichi reportedly said: “A situation has arisen in which India has refused to allow a Self-Defense Forces plane to land and pick up supplies.”
Takaichi reportedly made the remarks at a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers.
“This is a clear case of insufficient preliminary coordination on the part of the government,” he had said.
Meanwhile, issues related to reports that some academics of the Australia India Institute at the Melbourne University have ‘quit’ due to alleged interference by the Indian High Commission in the institute’s work also figured in the media briefing.
“As far as academic freedom in Australia is concerned, this is for the Australian authorities to respond to. I do believe that the authorities of the Institute of Melbourne have made their position clear to it,” an MEA spokesperson said.
He also said the reports of ‘dragging’ the Indian High Commission to Australia into this is unjustified.
Mr Bagchi also pointed out, “The institute was set up by the Australian government in partnership with the University of Melbourne and funded by the Australian government and institutions. The Government (of India) has no say in the decision-making of this institute”.
“Some events relating to India” have been “discouraged or not supported on the grounds (by the institute) as they were likely to be controversial”, the scholars had written, according to reports.