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India, Japan Begin First Ever Bilateral Military Exercise

© AP Photo / Channi AnandAn Indian army soldier holds an AK-47 assault rifle. (File)
An Indian army soldier holds an AK-47 assault rifle. (File) - Sputnik International
During Indian PM Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Tokyo for the annual bilateral meet, the two countries instituted a Foreign and Defense Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) intended to support the existing mechanisms of bilateral military engagement.

India and Japan started their first ever bilateral military exercise from Thursday in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram. Named "DHARMA GUARDIAN — 2018", the 14-day exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities.

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"The objective of this exercise is to build and promote army to army relations in addition to exchanging skills and experiences between both the armies. Due emphasis will be laid on enhancing tactical skills to fight against global terrorism and on increasing interoperability between forces of both countries which is crucial for the success of any joint operation," the statement issued by the Indian Army reads. 

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Both sides have planned to execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in an urban warfare scenario. The Japanese contingent is being represented by the 32nd Infantry Battalion, while the Indian side is being represented by 6/1 Gorkha Rifles. Approximately one platoon strength each of both the battalions is participating in this exercise.

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In October, the navies of India and Japan resumed the bilateral maritime exercise JIMEX-18 in Indian waters after a hiatus of five years. The eight-day-long JIMEX-18 included anti-submarine warfare exercises, VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) drills, gun firings, cross deck Helo operations and coordinated operations in anti-submarine/ anti-air threat scenarios. 

Last week only, the two countries decided to hold a joint air combat drill involving the Indian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) as well.




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