The navies of India and Japan held complex bilateral exercises including anti-submarine warfare and air defense for a week in the Bay of Bengal as part of the sixth edition of the maritime exercise Japan-India 2022, JIMEX 22.
The drill ended on Saturday with the two sides saying goodbye with a customary steam ahead of the Indian Navy ships led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Commanding Officer of the Eastern Fleet.
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships Izumo and Takanami were led by Rear Admiral Hirata Toshiyuki, commander of Escort Flotilla Four. JIMEX 22 has witnessed some of the most complex exercises undertaken jointly by the two navies. Both sides engaged in advanced anti-submarine warfare, weapons firing and air defense exercises. Ship-borne helicopters, fighter jets and submarines also took part in the exercise. Indian Navy and JMSDF vessels resupplied at sea under the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services (RPSS) agreement. The exercise, which marked the tenth anniversary of JIMEX since its inception in 2012, cemented mutual understanding and interoperability between the two navies. Incidentally, the joint drill came days after India and Japan held the two plus two dialogue in Tokyo on September 8.
Both sides reaffirmed their determination to be committed to maintaining a rules-based global order that respects the sovereignty of nations and stressed the need for all countries to resolve disputes peacefully without resorting to the threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo. The two countries also agreed to hold the first-ever joint fighter aircraft exercise.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar represented India while Yasukazu Hamada and Hayashi Yoshimasa respectively from Japan took part in the dialogue. The “2+2” dialogue took place more than five months after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited India for the annual India-Japan Summit. This year also marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Japan.
Calling for respect for international laws, the two plus two dialogue stressed that global cooperation is needed more than ever to address the security challenges that have become more acute. Rajnath said after the meeting that there was consensus on both sides that a strong Indo-Japanese relationship is very important for a free, open, rules-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific based on sovereignty. and the territorial integrity of nations.
India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) shares many commonalities with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). India has also been developing maritime cooperation with regional partners in line with our inclusive vision of security and growth for all in the region (SAGAR), he said. Jaishankar said the dialogue is taking place against the backdrop of a complicated global environment.
“We are two nations committed to promoting a rules-based order, ensuring respect for international law and standards, and protecting the global commons. Added to our efforts in this regard are now the need to create chains of resilient and reliable supply in the wake of the Covid pandemic,” he said.
Conflicts and climatic events have further aggravated the global economic situation, creating deep concerns for energy and food security. Trust and transparency are our common concerns in a digitalized world, he said.