Navy chief to visit Japan

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) To consolidate and expand the maritime relation between New Delhi and Tokyo, India’s Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will visit Japan from December 19, a statement said on Sunday.

During the visit, Admiral Lanba will hold discussions with the Japanese Navy chief, the Defence Minister and the Chief of Joint Staff besides other senior officials and dignitaries.

Defence cooperation between India and Japan is primarily focused towards maritime cooperation, the statement said.

The Navy is waiting for the government’s approval to purchase 12 US-2i amphibious aircraft from Japanese aircraft maker ShinMaywa for Rs 10,000 crore.

This will be the largest defence purchase from Japan after it ended its five decades old self-imposed embargo defence export. The deal is stuck since 2013.

Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force has participated in the Malabar naval exercise in 2007, 2009, 2014 prior to being included as a regular member in the exercise since last year.

The force participated in Malabar 15 and 16 held respectively in the Bay of Bengal and Western Pacific.

Japan was in 2014 included as an observer in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, a maritime cooperation construct conceptualised and pioneered by the Indian Navy in 2008.

The aggressive posturing of the Chinese Navy in East Asia and South China sea has compelled both India and Japan to formulate a joint maritime strategy.

India and Japan share similar maritime challenges such as long coastline, extensive exclusive economic zone, coastal security, large coastal shipping and fishing fleet, and both navies have opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences.

–IANS

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