Wednesday, February 16, 2011

India, Japan, U.S. Navies to Hold Military Exercises

The Indian Navy, Japanese Navy and the U.S. Navy will hold joint military exercises off the Okinawa Coast, Japan. The Malabar Exercises which originally included the Indian and the U.S. Navies will be conducted between April 2nd and 10th. The exercises will include Japanese ships for the second time after the execises in the Bay of Bengal in 2007 which featured a Japanese Naval presence as well.

The Hindu quotes sources who said that the Indian Navy following the acquisition of marine heavy-lift capabilities is keen to engage with the U.S. Marines and the Pentagon has agreed to have one such exercise off Okinawa.

Japanese interest in developing a robust defence cooperative arrangement with India comes even as a National Defence Programme Guidelines, released recently, mentions three countries as rising powers - China, Russia and India. Japan has a tense relationship with China and is still negotiating a peace treaty with Russia. India is the only country with which it does not have security issues.

According to the U.S. Navy, the aim of the exercise is to "strengthen the stability of the Pacific Region". India deems the exercises as a learning exercise for the Indian Navy. The Navy will concentrate on aspects such as anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, air defense, live-fire gunnery training, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations, maintain the sources.

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