For the first time ever in an effort to promote military cooperation, India and Japan will hold joint military exercise ‘DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018’ involving the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force at Counter Insurgency Warfare School, Vairengte, India next month. To hold these exercises the decision was taken last year during the annual India-Japan annual summit in India, 2017.
During a fortnight long exercises starting Nov 1, the Indian side will be represented by 6/1 GORKHA RIFLES while the Japanese contingent will be represented by 32 Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force.
This exercise is yet another step in deepening strategic ties including closer defence cooperation between the two countries. It will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s militaries and also facilitate tracking the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism.
According to the official spokesperson of the Indian Army, “the focus of the exercise will be on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries. The two sides will be jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.”
Experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects.
During the previous India-Japan annual summit in India, the two had decided to expand joint exercises and cooperation in such areas as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR).
According to the joint statement released in Sept, 2017 at the end of talks, both India and Japan wanted deeper cooperation in peacekeeping operations(PKOs), counter-terrorism including the possibility of joint field exercises between Indian Army and Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) in 2018, and reciprocal visits by air assets to each other’s country. Both countries have long-standing partnership between the two Coast Guards too.