The Japan-India Maritime Exercise is a testament to the strong and enduring relationship between the two navies
The Indian Navy’s indigenous stealth frigate, INS Shivalik, has arrived at the naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, to participate in the highly anticipated Japan-India Maritime Exercise 2024 (JIMEX 24). This marks the eighth edition of JIMEX since its inception in 2012, reflecting the growing strategic partnership between India and Japan.

The arrival of INS Shivalik was met with a warm reception from Vice Admiral Ito Hiroshi, Commander of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) Yokosuka District, and Sibi George, the Indian Ambassador to Japan. Their presence underscored the significance of this bilateral exercise, which aims to enhance mutual cooperation and reinforce the shared commitment towards ensuring maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.

JIMEX 24 comprises both harbour and sea phases, designed to strengthen the operational interoperability between the Indian Navy (IN) and the JMSDF. During the harbour phase, personnel from both navies will engage in a variety of professional exchanges, sports events, and social interactions. These activities are intended to foster camaraderie and mutual understanding, laying a solid foundation for the rigorous sea phase that follows.

The sea phase will see the navies conducting complex multi-discipline operations in surface, sub-surface, and air domains. This joint training is crucial for honing their war-fighting skills and improving coordination during real-world maritime operations. The exercise will feature integral helicopters from both navies, adding an aerial dimension to the already comprehensive scope of JIMEX 24.

The Indian Navy is represented by INS Shivalik, an advanced stealth frigate known for its state-of-the-art weaponry, sensors, and stealth capabilities. The ship’s participation underscores India's commitment to enhancing maritime security and operational readiness in collaboration with its strategic partners. On the other side, the JMSDF is represented by the guided-missile destroyer JS Yugiri, a formidable asset equipped with advanced defense systems and capable of undertaking diverse naval operations.

Over the years, JIMEX has evolved significantly in terms of scope and complexity. The exercise now encompasses a wide range of activities aimed at exchanging best practices and improving operational efficiency. This year’s edition, JIMEX 24, is expected to set new benchmarks in bilateral naval cooperation, reflecting the growing strategic importance of the Indo-Pacific region.

Vice Admiral Ito Hiroshi highlighted the importance of such exercises in fostering a deeper understanding and coordination between the two navies. “The Japan-India Maritime Exercise is a testament to the strong and enduring relationship between our navies. It provides an excellent platform to learn from each other and enhance our collective maritime capabilities,” he said.

Ambassador Sibi George echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the role of JIMEX in strengthening the strategic partnership between India and Japan. “JIMEX 24 is not just a naval exercise; it is a symbol of the shared vision and commitment of India and Japan towards ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The collaboration between our navies is a reflection of the broader strategic partnership between our nations,” he remarked.

The Defence Ministry of India also issued a statement recently, underscoring the significance of JIMEX 24 in enhancing bilateral ties and maritime security. “The Indian Navy’s participation in JIMEX 24 highlights our commitment to working closely with the JMSDF to enhance maritime cooperation and security in the Indo-Pacific. This exercise provides an invaluable opportunity to conduct joint operations, exchange best practices, and strengthen our operational readiness,” the statement read.

As JIMEX 24 unfolds over the coming days, both navies are poised to engage in a series of challenging exercises designed to test their capabilities and improve their interoperability. The lessons learned from these operations will not only enhance their readiness for future missions but also contribute to the broader goal of maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The participation of INS Shivalik in JIMEX 24 marks another milestone in the growing maritime partnership between India and Japan. This exercise underscores the strategic importance of the Indo-Pacific region and the commitment of both nations to ensuring its security and stability through enhanced naval cooperation.