THE INDIAN NAVY AND THE JAPANESE SELF DEFENSE FORCE ARE EXERCISING TOGETHER IN THE BAY OF BENGALEditor's Note 01/29/2018 Since we first published this post the growing working relationship between the Indian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force has continued expand.
A Japanese MSDF ship pulls into....Pearl Harbor for joint exercise RIMPAC
PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Navy. Japan has friends, they are about to make a new one.
|Indian Navy Air Craft Carrier, Photo Credit : INDIAN NAVY|
THE HINDU HAS THE STORY: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/first-indiajapan-maritime-excercise-in-bay-of-bengal/article5469941.ece?textsize=large&test=1
"India’s indigenously built stealth frigate INS Satpura, the Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay and missile corvette INS Kuthar would participate in the four-day first ever Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) to be conducted in waters off the Indian coast in the Bay of Bengal from December 19.
Japan would be participating in the exercise, which would focus on Maritime Security Cooperation, through its Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) that would be bringing in two Guided Missile destroyers, JS Ariake (with Commander Escort Division – 7 embarked), and JS Setogiri.
The exercise will comprise harbour and sea phases of two days each that would strive to enhance interoperability, thereby enabling the two navies to undertake operations in the sphere of maritime security in the future." For the complete article click here: THE HINDU ON INDIA/JAPAN JOINT NAVAL EXERCISE
EDITORIAL COMMENT: What can we say besides "Go Tigers!" Not long ago we reported on a joint Indian / Australian/ American naval operation. American observers that we cited indicated that India performed better on her first time working with American naval forces than a few of the NATO nations. We're sure that an India / Japan joint operation would work as well. This will be the first time the two have exercised in Indian waters but they have exercised together before.
Frankly the U.S. Government worries far too much over India's non aligned status. Their Navy works constantly at interoperability with other armed forces including the Russians. India is however an ethical nation and a free market democracy. We'd love to have them firmly in the Western camp, but we need not worry about them "going over to the dark side". We also need not worry about them rolling over and playing dead for the Dragon or the Bear if they ever try to move against International law and order in the Indian Basin. India bolsters global collective security just be being who they are, where they are. If we are to ever nudge them firmly into the Western system of formal alliances we had better be prepared to welcome them not as just another seeker of collective security but as regional leader, here to play a leading role in the Western camp.
Dragons and bears fear the Tiger. The Eagle doesn't prey on Tigers and sometimes fails to perceive the power from a distance. There is no reason why the world's most powerful democracy and the world's most populous democracy, both having an official status for the English language and wide spread fluency in the population, couldn't be firm and formal partners. Maybe its time to rethink the entire idea of a "Western Alliance". Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand are often thought of as being in the "Western Camp" but Australia and New Zealand are only closely linked to NATO members Great Britain and the United States not the formal NATO organization. The United States is linked to Australia and New Zealand via the ANZUS Treaty and to Japan and the Philippines by Separate Treaties. That the U.S. is linked to both formal Atlantic and Pacific military alliances is no bar to a formal alliance in the Indian Ocean and a linkage to all of these systems to a real, formal, coordinated system of global security. To make it work none of us may act like an imperial power. No one in such an alliance can feel like a vassal state and expect such an alliance to hold together. But NATO / ANZUS, has held for more than half a century, and U.S. / Japan and U.S./Philippine treaties have held up equally long. Now thanks to the Dragon acting openly in a threatening manner, the Philippines and Japan are acting in concert and the Philippines has lost much of its fear of Japanese rearmament after 70 years of a Japan without imperial attitudes or ambitions.
With the right net work of formal alliances, and operational organization, and regular policy alignment the global collective security forces could muster a 500 ship armada to any trouble spot in the world on very short notice. That's a naval chess game no dragon or bear could match, it might well be enough to coax them into learning to play well with others vice always trying to take over the playground.