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India, Japan hold anti-submarine warfare exercise

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Two P-3C Orion ASW aircraft at the Naval Air Station INS Hansa, Goa. A Navy photo/Twitter

NEW DELHI (PTI): Navies of India and Japan have begun a three-day anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean region to deepen their operational coordination in the strategically important sea lanes around the two countries.

Indian Navy's two P-8 I long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircraft and two P-3C Orion jets of the Japanese Navy will be part of the exercise which started on Sunday, said an official of the Indian Navy.

The two P-3C Orions, which are anti-submarine warfare aircraft, landed at naval air station Hansa in Goa on Sunday.

The short duration exercise is taking place amid concerns in India and Japan over China's growing presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said aircrew from both navies will also have extensive interaction to evolve a "concept of joint operations".

"This exercise takes the bilateral relations to an unprecedented level of 'Strategic and Global partnership'," he said.

Japan Navy has participated in the recent trilateral Malabar exercise along with India and the US.

The three navies have been intensifying their cooperation considering China's expansionist behaviour in the critical sea lanes.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono last week had said that Tokyo favours a dialogue between Japan, the US, India and Australia to further boost strategic partnership among the four countries.

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