The 4th edition of the Biennial Naval Exercise JIMEX between Japan and India
The India-Japan maritime bilateral exercise JIMEX-20, between the Indian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), concluded on 28th September 2020. The JIMEX Exercise series started in January 2012 with an accentuation on Maritime Security Cooperation.
JIMEX (Japan Maritime bilateral exercise) was initiated with the endeavor to aggrandize military cooperation and intensify maritime security synergy between Japan and India. In the 4th edition of JIMEX, the key focal point was on information sharing and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and Indo-Pacific. The three-day war games were conducted in a “non-contact at-sea-only format.”
In all the editions of JIMEX, the 4th edition has been quite consequential. The exercise took place in the backdrop of emerging concerns over China’s growing military presence in the Indian Ocean Region and the South China Sea. It is the first armed exercise after India and Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). According to the Ministry of Defence statement, “The Agreement establishes a framework such as the settlement procedures for the reciprocal provision of supplies and services between the Self-Defense Forces of Japan and the Indian Armed Forces.”
Amid escalating tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control LAC), which is likely to spiral further, with the ACSA agreement in place, the Indian Naval Forces now have access to the Japanese base in Djibouti and, the Japanese have access to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
This exercise though driven with an objective to enhance maritime security and cooperation, indirectly was propelled to give the Chinese a warning to stop its warmongering, constant bullying, and threatening. Chinese activities, particularly over the past decade, have consistently sought to destabilize peace and maritime trade in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the Indo-Pacific.
In a statement the Navy said, “JIMEX-20 will showcase high degree of interoperability and joint operational skills through conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the spectrum of maritime operations. Multi-faceted tactical exercises involving weapon firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and complex surface, anti-submarine and air warfare drills will consolidate coordination developed by the two navies.”
Both nations have made steady progress in military cooperation. There has been a drastic increase in India’s maritime interactions with the QUAD countries on a bilateral basis and several bilateral, trilateral and multilateral military exercises with the US, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and various other countries in South-East Asia.
India is a peace-loving nation and has consistently spoken and worked to maintain peace and cooperation, but that does not mean it will continue to bleed as a consequence of foreign attacks. India needs a robust policy against countries that threaten its sovereignty. Sometimes you need to be the BAD BOY.