Naval chief leaves for Japan, Korea visit

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New Delhi, Aug 19 (UNI) Indo-Japanese cooperation in defence took a giant leap today with Indian Naval chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta leaving for the island nation, even as three warships from Japan are headed for Indian shores on a goodwill mission.

Admiral Mehta's visit comes at a time when India's two warships -- 'INS Vyas' and 'INS Godavari' -- are in Japan for joint naval exercises between August 23 to 26.

On the other hand, among the three Japanese warships to reach Vishakhapatnam port are two guided missile destroyers -- 'JDS Asagiri' and 'JDS Umigiri' -- and the gigantic 5,400-tonne trainer 'JDS Kashima'.

Both the missile destroyers are loaded with the deadly Harpoon and Sea Sparrow missiles and the Sea Hawk helicopters.

Admiral Mehta, during his visit to Japan would inspect various shipyards in Tokyo, Yokosuka, Hiroshima and Kyoto and meet Japanese Defence Minister Shiguru Ishiba and deputy Kohei Mosuda besides holding discussions with Joint Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Takashi Saito.

Later, the Naval chief would leave for South Korea where he is scheduled to meet Defence Minister Lee San Hi and Korean Naval Chief Oak Kiyon.


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