Japan joins India-US naval drills in Indian Ocean

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Tokyo (dpa) – Japan’s navy is participating in this year’s joint naval exercises by India and the United States in the Indian Ocean Wednesday amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

The Japanese navy has deployed the guided missile destroyer Fuyuzuki for the Malabar series of drills in the Bay of Bengal through Monday aimed at upgrading capability against submarines and undertaking training for rescue operations, Kyodo News agency reported.

Along with Indian warships, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is participating in the operation, local Indian media reported.

This is the fourth time that Japan has joined in the Malabar exercises following last year’s training in waters near Japan. It is the first time since 2007 that Japan’s navy has joined the drills in the Indian Ocean, Kyodo said.

Japan’s participation comes one month after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government pushed through controversial security bills that would allow the Japanese military to expand its role overseas.

Japan’s constitution prohibits the use of force to settle international disputes.

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