In a significant development, Warships from Indian and Japanese Navy (Japan
Maritime Self Defense Force) conducted joint exercises at an undisclosed
location in the Indian Ocean Region on June 27th at a time when both the
countries are facing hostility from China.
The Naval exercise took place when there is growing talk of the possibility
of emergence of a joint front of India, Japan, US and Australia to counter the
threat of the Chinese Navy in the region.
Ships that took part
in the exercise
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force training squadron ships JS Kashima and JS
Shimayuki took part in the maritime exercise. From Indian Navy, INS Rana and
INS Kulish were involved in the day long exercise.
“On June 27th, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force conducted goodwill
training with Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean,” tweeted Japanese Ambassador
Satoshi Suzuki. This is the 15th training exercise between JMSDF and Indian
Navy for the past 3 years.
“The focus of the exercise was interoperability between the two navies,”
Japan had backed
India during the Doklam standoff with China
Japan had backed India during the Doklam standoff with China and has also
expressed condolences on the death of 20 Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley
during a clash with Chinese soldiers.
The Exercise in Indian Ocean is also significant as China is trying to
increase its military presence in this region. The focus of the exercise was
interoperability between the two navies,”. The exercise is taking place when
China is testing its neighbors including India and Japan.
Due to India-China standoff in Ladakh, Indian Navy is already at a high
alert and it has deployed it assets to thwart any misadventure by Chinese Navy
from the sea.
between Japan and China over Senkaku islands
There is also growing tension between Japan and China over Senkaku islands.
In recent days Chinese coast guard vessels had been repeatedly intruding into
Japanese waters near the islands.
Chinese state owned media Global Times on Sunday reported that Chinese Navy
will be conducting military exercises in waters off the disputed Xisha Islands
in the South China Sea from July 1st to July 5 to send a signal to its rivals
in the region.
Joint exercise by
US, India and Japan “Malabar” in 1992
Last year in September Indian, US
and Japan navies had conducted a joint exercise called “Malabar” in Sasebo. The
Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral one between the Indian Navy and
the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. Japan became a permanent member of the Malabar
exercise in 2015. Australian Navy is also likely to join the naval exercises