Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships Kaga, an Izumo Class Helicopter Destroyer and Inazuma – a Guided Missile Destroyer arrived at Visakhapatnam on 07 October 2018.The JMSDF Ships under the command of Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukada, Commander, Escort Flotilla-4 (CCF-4), would be participating in the third edition of Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) with the ships of Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy (IN) from 07 to 15 October 18. JIMEX-18 is aimed to enhance interoperability, improve understanding and imbibe the best practices of each other.
The IN will be represented by three indigenously designed and built warships and a Fleet Tanker. The ships participating are INS Satpura, multipurpose stealth frigate, INS Kadmatt, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette, Missile Corvette and INS Shakti, the Fleet Tanker. In addition, one submarine, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a number of integral helicopters would also be participating in the exercise. The Indian ships participating would be under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet.
JIMEX 18, spread over eight days, will comprise a Harbour Phase and a Sea Phase of four days each. The Harbour Phase of the exercise scheduled from 07 to 10 October 18 will include professional and social interactions between ship’s crews, sports fixtures and operational planning for the Sea Phase. The Sea Phase would include Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercises, VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) Drills, Gun Firings, Cross Deck Helo Operations and coordinated operations in Anti-Submarine/ Anti-Air threat scenarios.
The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in Dec 2013 off Chennai. The conduct of JIMEX-18 after five years is indicative of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relations and the continued efforts of both Governments to work closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons in keeping with ‘rule based order’. It is pertinent to highlight that JMSDF is a regular participant in the Malabar series of exercises between Indian and US Navies. In addition, the ships of the two navies have been working in close coordination in Anti-Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden (GoA) for the past few years.
JMSDF Ships also participated in the recently concluded MALABAR 18 off Guam (along with Indian and US Navy units) in the Pacific Ocean in Jun and biennial multilateral exercise RIMPAC-18 off Hawaii, USA.
Naval ties between India and Japan have reached new heights with bilateral and multilateral exercises since first ‘Navy to Navy Staff Talks’ between two nations in November 2008. Since then, naval ties have enhanced to cooperation in information sharing, meteorology and oceanography, disaster management and military training.The defence and security interaction also expanded to encompass Defence Policy Dialogue and a Maritime Affairs Dialogue. Regular bilateral and multilateral maritime exercises are foundation for strong naval relations between both countries. The erstwhile Japan–India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) led to Japan participating in ‘MALABAR’ exercise (a tripartite naval exercise between India, US and Japan) since 2014.