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‘Japan keen on supplying defence equipment to India’

The Japanese government, in principle, has taken a decision to forge partnership with India to supply defence equipment, a senior official of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force said here on Monday.

A day after the nine-day Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX)-18, a joint exercise between the Indian and Japanese navies began here, Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fakuda, Commander, Escort Flotilla-4 (CCR-4) on Monday said that they wanted to explore the opportunities for supplying amphibious planes to India.

The JIMEX-2018 began here on Sunday with an aim of improving interoperability, strengthening understanding and learning the best practices of both the navies. The Harbour Phase, which started on Sunday, comprising professional and social interactions between the crew of both the navies would continue for another two days. Sports fixtures and operational planning would be included in this phase.

The Sea Phase will comprise anti-submarine warfare exercises, visit, board, search and seizure drills, gun firing, cross deck helicopter operations and coordination operations in anti-submarine and anti-air threat scenarios from Wednesday.

As part of the exercises, JS Kaga, an anti-Inzumo class helicopter carrier as large as an aircraft carrier and JS Inazu, a destroyer class ship with capability for anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare arrived in the city, with a crew of 600 including 40 women. Indigenously designed and built three warships INS Satpura, INS Kadamatt and INS Shakti and several helicopters from Indian Navy are also participating. The crew participating from host country will be around 1,000.

Along with Rear Admiral Fakuda, Rear Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet, Indian Navy, told media on-board INS Sahyadri that both the navies were focusing on the increased role in ensuring maritime security in the Indo-Pacific Region.

The JIMEX-2018 took off after a gap of five years, which is an indication of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relationships and the determination of both the countries to work together closely to improve safety and security.

Anti-piracy activity ::

This is the third edition of bilateral exercise and talks are at various levels with Prime Ministers from both the countries undertaking goodwill visits and declaring the need to improve the ties further in defence and other fields. Japan is also a permanent member of the annual Malabar exercises. Both the countries are also playing a key role in anti-piracy activity in the Gulf of Aden.

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