New Delhi, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force and the Indian Army kicked off their first joint exercise, in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, on Thursday.
The drill, slated to continue through Nov. 13, is aimed at strengthening the relationship between the GSDF and the Indian Army. It is also believed to signal a common determination to thwart military threats from China, sources familiar with the situation said.
Japan and India, which share the goal of creating a free and open Indo-Pacific region, have confirmed their cooperation for regional stability through bilateral summit talks and other opportunities.
In the exercise, which assumes the fight against terrorists, GSDF and Indian Army troops will conduct training for disposing of explosives and carry out combat exercises for rescuing hostages.
The GSDF has so far conducted joint exercises with the United States and Britain.
According to the public relations division of the GSDF’s Ground Staff Office, the GSDF has no experience of holding training for missions against terrorism with other countries.
Last year, the Indian military had a standoff with the People’s Liberation Army of China for over two months near their borders.
Also struggling with cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, India has been making efforts to beef up its capabilities for ground battles.
Japan’s Air SDF and India’s Air Force may also conduct a joint drill in the future.
Japan, India and the United States hold the Malabar joint maritime exercise every year.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, agreed to launch so-called two-plus-two talks among the two nations’ foreign and defense ministers, during the Indian leader’s three-day visit to Japan through Monday.