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India, Japan Hold PASSEX Naval Exercise to Promote Understanding in Indian Ocean

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India, Japan Hold Naval ExerciseIn order to promote mutual understanding, Indian Navy and Japanese Navy (Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force) have conducted a day long Naval Exercise PASSEX (Passing Exercise) for tactical and communications training, towards the Malacca Strait in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This was the 15th exercise undertaken by the navies of these two nations in the last three years.

  • The overall content of this PASSEX was goodwill training and to promote understanding.
  • Participants: The exercise consisted of four warships viz. Rajput-class destroyer INS (Indian Naval Ship) Rana and Kora-class missile corvette INS Kulish of Indian Navy and JS Kashima (TV 3508) and JS Shimayuki (TV 3513) of JMSDF’s training squadron. 

Point to be noted:

This exercise took place amid growing talk regarding the emergence of a joint front of India, Japan, US and Australia to counter the threat of the Chinese Navy in the region. Notably, Japan has one of the best non-nuclear submarines in the world and cutting edge anti-submarine warfare technology.

Indo-Japan relation: Both nations facing tensions with China

The Japanese navy is one of the principal partners of the Indian Navy.  Japan has also become the regular participant of naval combat exercise “Malabar” between India and the United States (US) since 2015. The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral one between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. In 2018, India and Japan have kicked off an annual joint land military exercise named “Dharma Guardian”. Importantly, the latest exercise has been conducted when India-Japan are facing heightened tensions with China.

  • India-China Tension: The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in a tense standoff in several locations in eastern Ladakh and the tension increased manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15.
  • Japan-China Tension: There is also growing tension between Japan and China over Senkaku islands.

About Japan:
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese yen
Prime Minister– Shinzo Abe

About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD (Navy)– New Delhi