New Delhi: Malabar exercise, seen as an effort by India, USA, and Japan navies to counter the growing challenge of China in the sea will be held from 25 September in Sasebo.
“The Malabar exercise will be held from 25th September to 4th October in Sasebo in Japan,” said a senior official.
The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral one between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. Japan became a permanent member of the Malabar exercise in 2015 as it faced deepening tensions with China over a dispute on East Asian island chain: Senkaku Islands.
Last year the exercise was held from 07 to 16 June at off the coast of Guam in the Western Pacific. This was the first time that the Malabar exercise was conducted off the coast of Guam, a US territory.
Indian Navy ships Sahyadri and anti-submarine warfare corvette, INS Kamorta, fleet tanker INS Shakti and surveillance aircraft P8I had participated in the exercise.
In recent years China Navy has been trying to increase its influence in the region raising concerns in the neighbouring countries. Recently there has been skirmishes between the Vietnam and China in the South China Sea where ONGC Videsh is engaged in oil exploration at Block 06.1.
India had asserted that said that South China Sea is part of the global commons and it firmly stands for the freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, in the international waters.”
China had objected to Indian presence in the South China Sea. However, despite China pressure Indian has been involved in activities in the region.
Earlier this month Indian Navy conducted bilateral exercise “Samudra Laksamana” with Malaysia Navy in the South China Sea.