Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Japan Looks To Join India, US In Naval Exercise

                                Reported in the STARS AND STRIPES
Sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier wave to the Indian Navy destroyer INS Ranvijay during the annual Exercise Malabar, April 16, 2012.
Editor's Note: Last year we ran this story and applauded Japan's approach to India. This story is worth revisiting as we start 2015. India continues to seek out cooperative naval exercises with regional and Western powers. India also consistently produces a laudable performance in these exercises. Yet India remains as 2015 starts committed to non aligned status. Yet this ability to quickly interact in cooperative naval engagement with a variety of navies is a force multiplier when viewed by India's potential enemies such as China, Pakistan, and The Islamic World. India does not engage in "entangling alliances" but has many friends and a navy that can work well with others. Aggressive states have to take that into consideration. Alliances sometimes form over night, that's political, the ability to instantly take military advantage of an alliance is military readiness. India exhibits that kind of readiness and punches well above its weight.

 Japan is still limited by its constitution to maintaining a defensive military establishment only. However in 2014 Japan displayed a willingness to engage in exercises with other regional powers independent of any U.S. involvement and even is assisting the Philippines in their strengthening of their naval and coast guard forces. Japan appears to be following to some degree the Indian idea of maintaining naval cooperative capabilities while avoiding permanent defense agreements other than their long standing treaty with the United States. However, the Japanese legislature continues to discuss the possibility of entering into regional cooperative defense arrangements. Like India, Japan's military stays ready for cooperative military endeavor while leaving the politics to the politicians. A Japan / India alliance would be very formidable against China if China decided to crank up the tension levels beyond the existing almost intolerable levels in the region.

The STARS AND STRIPES on line is carrying the following report by Eric Slavin:

 "  YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Japanese Self-Defense Force wants to join an annual sea drill held by the United States and India later this year, according to Indian media reports.
The request to participate in the Malabar exercise came during a four-day visit to New Delhi last week by Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, and just one month after Japan and India held their first-ever bilateral exercise in the Bay of Bengal. For the complete story click on   STARS AND STRIPES

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're glad that Japan approached India first. Additional participation is really India's call this year since the exercise will mostly occur in the Tiger's home waters. We recently carried a post about how well India, a non aligned state, performed in a joint exercise with the Australian and U.S. Navies. U.S. naval authorities expressed the opinion that India was easier to interact with than some of our NATO allies, despite India's  lack of purpose built inter-operable equipment.

  Japan is of course a formal, long standing U.S. ally. The United States should welcome Japan to the exercise, but only if India is comfortable with the idea. We would urge India to cooperate as often as possible with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).  Despite its name the JMSDF is among the top five navies on earth. India ranks similarly, but it is more than the numbers of war ships or even types that is of significance here. Both India and Japanese naval forces are highly skilled. Together, even without U.S. assistance, China could not defeat them acting in concert.

  India being a reliable naval power that operates well within international law, the world seems comfortable with their emergence as the naval guardian of the Indian ocean, with the exception of Pakistan which has an illogical hatred of India, and China which covets part of India's northern territories. If India and Japan were close and cooperative formal allies China would be effectively contained and the two allies could act without any real necessity to look to or coordinate with the United States. India's non aligned status is the wild card in the situation that keeps China from either digging in or really breaking out. Because the Indian Navy is so well trained and its equipment improves almost daily, India could quickly form any sort of various alliances and inter-operate with an allied fleet, that even without U.S. participation, would be invincible in the region.

  China has a vested interest in keeping India non aligned, which it does by blunting to some extent its aggressive naval posture at least as concerns India and the Indian Ocean. The rest of the world has a vested interest in a better behaved Chinese Navy. India can decide if it wants to formally affiliate with the West and Japan in a collective security arrangement. By not aligning a probable naval arms race and other tensions with China are being muted. Somewhat muted tensions are good while the world awaits the on set of common sense within the Chinese senior party leadership. Present Chinese naval behavior tends to keep alive the constant threat of an accidental shooting incident leading to war. Regular exercise with potential allies increases force readiness. India is the best judge of the size and effect of any shadow that a military exercise casts over the area. Our thought after the Chinese naval visit to Sri Lanka recently is that the Dragon could use a bit of a shadow thrown on it. So we would advise an invitation to Japan for the exercise, but we defer to India's closer view and higher interest in the situation should India not want to extend an invitation. We look at the swimming Tiger as a protective mother and the swimming dragon as an egg eating reptile.Until the Middle Kingdom stops seeking vassals we prefer the Indian Ocean to be the sea of the Tiger.

                                                                                Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection. 

No comments:

Post a Comment