The sixth Japan India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX), which was held in the Bay of Bengal earlier this week, has as its main themes “bridges of friendship” and interoperability between the two Indo-Pacific countries.
Days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s trip to Tokyo for the 2+2 India-Japan ministerial conversation with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada, the exercise, which started on September 11, took place.
Japan was represented by two of its Maritime Self-Defense Force Ships (JMSDF) — Izumo, a helicopter carrier, and Takanami, a guided missile destroyer — during the two stages of JIMEX, which include drills at sea and a harbour phase in Visakhapatnam.
India, on the other hand, brought three of its homegrown naval warships, including the Sahyadri, an all-purpose stealth frigate, and two anti-submarine warfare corvettes, the Kadmatt and Kavaratti.
“Additionally, Guided Missile Destroyer Ranvijay, Fleet Tanker Jyoti, Offshore Patrol Vessel Sukanya, submarines, MIG 29K fighter aircraft, Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and ship borne helicopters are also participating in the exercise,” the Indian Navy said.
In addition to India and Japan’s participation in the Quad, the sixth JIMEX edition also commemorates 10 years since the event’s inception. Additionally, it has been 70 years since India and Japan first established diplomatic ties.
“JIMEX 22 seeks to consolidate the high degree of interoperability that exists between maritime forces of the two countries, through complex exercises in the surface, sub-surface and air domains,” the Navy added.
In a joint statement released on September 8, the 2+2 India-Japan ministerial discussion revealed Japan’s “desire to fundamentally strengthen…defence capabilities” and India’s “support to work toward greater security and defence cooperation.”
Even as they vowed to continuously work toward more complicated and sophisticated bilateral exercises, India and Japan jointly determined that their respective air forces will shortly undertake a “India-Japan Fighter Exercise.”