Navy chief begins 5-day visit to Japan
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Saturday began a five-day visit to Japan to attend the International Fleet Review, the inaugural ceremony of the Malabar exercise and hold talks to further expand bilateral maritime ties.
The Indian Navy’s two frontline warships, Shivalik and Kamorta, have already arrived in Yokosuka to participate in the IFR to be held at Sagami Bay on Sunday.
The IFR is being hosted to mark the 70th anniversary of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF).
Apart from India, the navies of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America are attending it.
The IFR will be reviewed by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and include 40 ships and submarines from the participating countries, the officials said.
Announcing Admiral Kumar’s visit to Japan from November 5 to 9, the Indian Navy said he will also attend the 18 th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) on November 7 and 8 at Yokohama.
“Apart from IFR and WPNS, he will also be in attendance for the inauguration of the 2022 edition of the Malabar exercise,” a spokesperson of the Indian Navy said.
“Admiral R Hari Kumar would also be interacting with his counterparts and other Heads of Delegations from close to 30 countries participating in the IFR, WPNS and Malabar,” the official said.
The Malabar exercise among the navies of India, Japan, the US and Australia is taking place amid rising global concerns over China’s increasing military muscle-flexing in the South China Sea and East China Sea regions.
Officials said the exercise will witness “high-tempo” drills in multiple domains as well as complex surface, sub-surface and air operations, including live firing drills.
Admiral Kumar will also be holding talks with his Japanese counterpart on ways to expand the bilateral naval ties further, the officials said.
“The visit of the Chief of Naval Staff to Japan signifies a high level of bilateral defence engagements with Japan, as well as India’s active support and participation in multilateral engagements,” the Navy spokesperson said.