NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing Sino-Indian standoff in Ladakh, the Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces (JMSDF) conducted a joint training exercise in the Indian Ocean The exercise that concluded on Saturday was held in the backdrop of Japan defence minister Taro Kono expressing concern over not only China ’s defence capabilities but also its intention in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The content of this exercise is tactical training and communication training with no specific scenario.
It was the 15th such training exercise between JMSDF and Indian Navy during the past three years following efforts by Delhi and Tokyo to widen defence partnership,” explained a person familiar with the initiative.The exercise consisted of four warships, two from each country, and the effort was aimed at signalling amid Beijing’s belligerence, noted the person quoted above.
The Indian Navy’s training vessels — INS Rana and INS Kulush — were joined by the Japanese Navy’s JS Kashima and JS Shimayuki.
Since 2000, the JMSDF is the world’s fourth largest navy by total tonnage and has been steadily expanding its fleet over the past few years amid China’s territorial claims in the Japanese waters.