By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, February 20
JMSDF Ship JS Makinami, a Takanami class destroyer, visited Western Naval Command, Mumbai on a goodwill mission and crew of Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) interacted with their Indian counterpart and also visited the places of cultural interest.
The ship is on passage to Manama, Bahrain and is being deployed for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. She visited Mumbai from February 18 to February 20.
Captain FUJII Kenrichi, Commander Escort Division Seven (CED 7) and Commander NOSE Koji, Commanding Officer JS Makinami, accompanied by Officer (Operations) at Headquarters Western Naval Command, Mumbai, and Capt TACHIBANA Hiroshi, Naval Attaché of the Embassy in India, called on Rear Admiral Kunal Singh Rajkumar, Chief Staff and discussed subjects of common interest.
India and Japan conduct the JIMEX series of exercises regularly between their navies. Since 2015, Japan has also been participating in the “Malabar” series of naval exercises that now also include Australia. JS Uraga and Awaji visited Kochi from February 14 to February16, prior proceeding to the Persian Gulf to participate in a multilateral exercise.
The Japanese ships visit India as part of the concept to strengthen the Indo-Pacific region, which was first articulated by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
There are also various frameworks of security and Defence dialogue between Japan and India including the “2 +2” meeting, annual Defence ministerial dialogue and Coast Guard to Coast Guard dialogue.
Exercise “Dharma Guardian” has begun between Indian and Japanese Army at Camp Imazu, Shiga Province, Japan on February 17 and it will on till March 02. This is the fourth edition of the exercise “Dharma Guardian” between India and Japan.
Over the decades, both counties have endeavoured to enhance cooperation in maritime affairs, military logistics and defence-industrial matters to develop niche weapon systems.