Japan’s minister of defense, Itsunori Onodera, was in New Delhi last week for high-level talks with his Indian counterpart, A K Antony. Among other regional security topics, including the unilateral ADIZ declaration by China, the two ministers agreed to mount a joint naval exercise off Japan later this year. That would be a first.
The first India-Japan naval exercise off of India’s coast took place in December, however. At the same time, the two nations’ coast guards announced they would conduct a joint exercise in January (starting tomorrow, 14 January, in fact), also off India’s coast.
(Some readers may have seen the report today that Japan is requesting to participate in the next annual MALABAR exercise with the U.S., India, and other South Asian navies in the Bay of Bengal. This isn’t the big deal the Indian media are making it out to be; Japan has participated in MALABAR since 2010. India and the U.S. sponsor it jointly, and participation is by invitation, which has to be renewed for each iteration of the exercise. Australia and Singapore are the other regular participants.)
Minister Onodera was back in Japan on Sunday to observe a military exercise conducted east of Tokyo, in which Japanese forces demonstrated countering the invasion of an island.
Japan is accelerating her build-up of an amphibious force, which would be capable of assault as well as defense, in case of the need to retake an island.
See the rest On the QT…