14:45 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Naval ships from (Bottom to top) Japan, United States and India (tow ships) operate the first joint naval exercise in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan's Chiba prefecture (File)

    Japan, India, US to Conduct Joint Naval Exercises June

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    The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) will participate in US-Indian Malabar naval drills in mid-June, Japanese media reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) will participate in US-Indian Malabar naval drills in mid-June, Japanese media reported Monday.

    The aims of the naval maneuvers are to boost the interoperability of the navy forces as well as to reaffirm the participating countries' military presence in the region in the face of China's expanding maritime activities in the East and South China seas, Japanese Kyodo news agency quotes its source in the government as saying.

    The MSDF will join initially bilateral Indian-US exercises held since 1992 for the third consecutive year.

    Japan and China have rival claims to the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, which comprises nearly 2.7 square miles and are rich in natural gas. The conflict became aggravated in 2012 when China sent warships to the waters around the islands after Japan claimed to have purchased them from private owners.

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