The sixth edition of the Japan-India Maritime Exercise, JIMEX 22, hosted by the Indian Navy concluded in the Bay of Bengal with the two sides bidding farewell to each other with a customary steam past on Saturday.
JIMEX comprised of complex tactical drills in all dimensions of Naval warfare to enhance interoperability between two key maritime forces in the Indo-Pacific.
The JIMEX series of exercises began in January 2012 with special focus on maritime security cooperation between India and Japan. The previous edition of JIMEX was conducted in October 2021 in the Arabian Sea.
“Indian Naval ships led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet and Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships Izumo and Takanami led by Rear Adm Hirata Toshiyuki, Commander Escort Flotilla Four, participated in the week-long exercise,” said a press statement from the Indian Navy.
JIMEX 22 witnessed some of the most complex exercises undertaken jointly by the two navies. Both sides engaged in advanced level anti-submarine warfare, weapon firings and Air Defence exercises. Ship-borne helicopters, fighter aircraft and submarines also participated in the exercise. Indian Navy and JMSDF ships replenished each other at sea under the agreement on Reciprocal Provision for Supply and Services (RPSS). The exercise aimed at developing a common understanding of operational procedures and enhance interoperability through the conduct of drills across the entire spectrum of maritime operations in surface, sub-surface and air domain.
The Naval exercise was strategically significant considering the role of two countries in the Indo-Pacific region along with Australia and the United States, who form the Quad.
A joint statement issued after the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in March earlier this year had said, “The Prime Ministers emphasized that India and Japan, as two leading powers in the Indo-Pacific region, had a shared interest in the safety and security of the maritime domain, freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with international law. With their commitment to promoting peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the Prime Ministers affirmed the importance of bilateral and plurilateral partnerships among like-minded countries of the region, including the quadrilateral cooperation among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (the Quad).”
The exercise took place after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held the India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo in which the Japanese side was represented by Minister of Defence Yasukazu Hamada and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi.