India, Japan kick off first joint military exercise Dharma Guardian-2018 in Mizoram

By: | Published: November 2, 2018 1:23 PM

The armies of India and Japan started a joint military exercise at Counter Insurgency Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram, the first such drill conducted by both nations together.

India, Japan, military exercise, Joint military exercise, Dharma Guardian-2018, mizoram, defence newsAccording to an Army statement, “The objective of the exercise is to build and promote Army to Army relation in addition to exchange skills and experiences of both the armies.” (File photo: IE)

The armies of India and Japan started a joint military exercise at Counter Insurgency Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram, the first such drill conducted by both nations together. During a fortnight-long exercise which started on Thursday, November 1, the Indian side is represented by 6/1 GORKHA RIFLES while 32 Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force are representing Japan. As reported by FE Online earlier, the decision to have joint army exercises was taken at the 2017 India-Japan summit and the focus of ‘Dharma Guardian-2018″ is on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries.

Both sides will 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. At the end of which the experts from the two sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects. According to an Army statement, “The objective of the exercise is to build and promote Army to Army relation in addition to exchange skills and experiences of both the armies.”

At the recently concluded India-Japan annual summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan welcomed the joint exercise between each of the three services. While this exercise will help in deepening the military relations between the two countries it will also contribute to developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s militaries and to fight the global menace of terrorism.

According to the joint statement released at the end of the summit earlier this week, the two countries attach importance to the Malabar exercise, regular Passage Exercises (PASSEX) and other joint exercises including the first counter-terrorism exercise between the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and the Indian Army as well as Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) participation as observer in Cope India and welcome increased cooperation with like-minded countries.

To further deepen bilateral security and defence cooperation, the 2+2 Strategic Dialogue has been set up where both foreign and defence ministers will meet, in addition to existing mechanisms, including the Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, the National Security Advisers’ Dialogue, Staff-level Dialogue of each service.

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