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First India-Japan naval drills on Saturday

June 08, 2012 19:40 IST

India and Japan will hold their first-ever maritime exercise commencing on Saturday off the coast of Tokyo.

"Two destroyers, one maritime patrol aircraft and a helicopter of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) will participate in the exercise whereas INS Rana, INS Shivalik, INS Karmukh and fleet tanker INS Shakti will represent India," the Indian Navy said on Friday.

The four ships entered Tokyo after visiting Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and South Korea and their three-day stay there coincides with commemoration of 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Japan, they said.

The four ships of the Eastern Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral P Ajit Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, are on a sustained operational deployment in South China Sea and North West Pacific.

On completion of the exercise with Japan, the warships will be visiting Beijing and Port Kelang in Malaysia around the middle of June.

Eastern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Anil Chopra will also be visiting Tokyo to witness the first Japan India Maritime Exercise.

The government has been deploying naval warships in the East in keeping with India's 'Look East' policy to strengthen military ties with the countries of this strategically important region.

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