New Delhi, Aug 20 : To strengthen security and strategic ties, two guided missile destroyers and one training ship of Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force will take part in an exercise with Indian Navy from August 23-26 on the western seaboard.
On August 26 they will be participating in PASSEX along with Indian Fleet Ships comprising Delhi class and Corvette. The PASSEX would involve OOW Manoeuvres, Flying Exercise, Cross Deck Flying, Photo Exercise, Underway Replenishment, Jackstay and Steam Past.
Japanese Defence Ships Kashima (Training Ship), Asagiri and Umigiri are visiting Mumbai from August 23 - 26. Both JDS Asagiri and Umigiri are frontline destroyers with a displacement of 2500 Tonnes and carry Sea Hawk Helicopter.
JDS Kashima is a 5000 tonnes training ship and embarks 115 Midshipmen trainee officers of JMSDF. During their stay they would be visiting our ships and have interactions with functionaries of the Navy.
India and Japan held their first-ever joint naval exercise near the Boso Peninsula in central Japan on April 16, 2007. Four destroyers from Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force, three warships from the Navy took part in the six-hour long exercise.
Meanwhile, the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, proceeded on eight days visit to Japan (August 19-24) and South Korea (August 24-28). The visit is on the invitation of the Japanese and Korean Naval Chiefs. The South Korean Naval Chief had visited India, earlier on May 19.
Admiral Mehta will meet Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba, Vice Minister of Defence, Chief of Joint Staff Admiral Takesi Saito and Chief of Maritime Security.
During Admiral Mehta's visit the focus will be on ship building and he will be visiting naval bases at Tokyo, Yokosuka, Kyoto and Hiroshima where shipyards are also located. High-level discussions are expected to take the close relations forward. Admiral Mehta would also be visiting Japanese frontline ships, establishments and shipyards.
On August 24 Admiral Mehta will fly to S. Korea where he will meet Minister of National Defence Lee Sang-hee, South Korean Navy Chief and visit its naval academies in Seoul, Ulsan and Dijon.
In South Korea, Admiral Mehta will be visiting the Naval Academy at Jinhae. Visits to frontline ships, platforms have also been scheduled.
The visit of Navy Chief Admiral Mehta will help in boosting India's defence ties with Japan and South Korea. By Praful Kumar Singh