Maiden Indo-Japan joint exercise in 2018

15-09-2017
DH

Not to be left behind, the air force of the two countries would send their respective aircraft to each other’s bases.

In addition, the Japanese maritime self-defence force would send its P-1 surveillance aircraft for the tri-nation Malabar Exercise in 2018.

The first edition of the mock war drill between the Indian Army and Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force would focus on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, an area in which the Indian Army has an expertise.

Finer details of the exercise would be decided later when the two forces would sit down for the initial planning meeting, a source said.

Other future mock drills could be on areas like UN Peace Keeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

While the two navies have a history of cooperation, the joint statement issued after the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe recognised the importance of expanding the maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region.

From 2017 onwards, Japan has been made a permanent member of the Malabar series of naval exercises, which used to be a bilateral affair involving India and the US.

The two prime ministers commended the expansion in scale and complexity of the Malabar Exercise that took place in the Bay of Bengal in July 2017.

Signifying increased friendship, Japan, too, opened its anti-submarine warfare and mine counter-measure training to the Indian Navy. Both training activities are likely to start in 2018.

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