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India, Japan to hold first joint naval drill in 2012

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Indian and Japanese navies took part in Malabar 2007 naval exercise along with US, Australia and Singapore.

TOKYO (BNS): Japan and India have decided to hold their first joint naval exercise in 2012.

The two countries agreed on Wednesday to conduct the bilateral drill involving their navies during Indian Defence Minister A K Antony's Tokyo visit, the official Kyodo news agency reported quoting Japanese Defence Ministry officials.

Antony had embarked on a day-long visit to Tokyo on November 1 to meet his Japanese counterpart Yasho Jchikawa.

Details of the military exercise involving Indian Navy and Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) will be worked out in future discussions, the news agency said.

The move comes at a time when China's growing military assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region has resulted in increased tension in the region.

Indian Navy has previously been engaged in a naval exercise with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2007 during the multinational Malabar wargame. The exercise scheduled for 2011 was put off following a devastating earthquake in Japan.

Besides the bilateral naval engagement, Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force and Air Self-Defense Force will also promote dialogue with their Indian counterparts, the Defence Ministry officials said.

Japanese Defence Minister Yasuo Ichikawa has also agreed to visit New Delhi in 2012.

India and Japan have been working towards enhancing their defence relationship to address regional and global security challenges.

Recently, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had visited New Delhi and urged for a greater interaction between the Navies of the two countries.

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India  Japan  Navy  Exercise  
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