New Delhi: The Indian and Japanese navies on Saturday (September 26, 2020) began their three-day-long maritime exercise that took place in the North Arabian Sea. The fourth edition of the Japan India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) between the Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) saw them carry out extensive Maritime Ops. 

The JMSDF ships Ikazuchi and Kaga led by Rear Admiral Konno Yasushige and the Indian Navy ships Chennai Tarkash and Deepak led by Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan were also seen in a close formation.

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The bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian and Japanese navies off the West Coast of India from September 26 to September 28 includes advanced exercises, tactical manoeuvres and a wide spectrum of maritime operations that will further enhance the naval cooperation and maritime interoperability.

Notably, this is the first military exercise after the two countries signed a landmark agreement on September 9 that will allow their militaries to access each other’s bases for logistics support.

It is reportedly being conducted in a ‘non-contact at-sea-only format’, in view of the COVID-19 restrictions.

The JIMEX series of exercises commenced in January 2012 with a special focus on maritime security cooperation. The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in October 2018 off Visakhapatnam coast.

Earlier on September 23 and September 24, the Indian Navy also undertook a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the East Indian Ocean Region. The exercise involved the participation of the HMAS Hobart from the Australian side and the Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri and Karmuk. In addition, an Indian MPA and helicopters from both sides also participated in the exercise.

The exercise was aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices from each other, and involved advanced surface and anti-air exercises including weapon firings, seamanship exercises, naval manoeuvres and Cross Deck Flying Operations.

PASSEXs are regularly conducted by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea. 

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Meanwhile, the senior officials from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Australia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Department of State of the United States of America held a video conference on September 25 for consultations on regional and global issues of common interest.

The officials reportedly exchanged views on ongoing and proposed practical cooperation in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, and security matters, including counter-terrorism, cyber and maritime security, with the objective of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The officials reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on shared values and principles and respect for international law.

This comes in the backdrop of growing concerns over China’s military activity in the Indian Ocean region as well as in the Indo-Pacific.





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