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India an important region: Japanese Navy Chief

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By Anjali Ojha

India is an “important” country in the Indian Ocean region and will have to take responsibility for security in the area, said Japan Maritime Self Defence Force chief Admiral Tomohisa Takei who is here to take part in the International Fleet Review.

The Admiral also said that the IFR is an important event to enhance cooperation among the navies and will provide a platform for further dialogue.

“We want better cooperation in the India Ocean; India is a very important country in the region. We would like to enhance relations with India,” Admiral Takei told the agency.

“India, with its location, will have to take responsibility for peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, from East Africa to the South China Sea,” he said.

The Japanese Navy Chief highlighted the fact that the Indian Ocean region accounted for 50 percent of the world’s population and has huge volumes of trade passing through the waters.

“India is in the centre of the region”.

India and Japan are often called by experts as “natural allies” in the region. Defence relations between the two countries have been enhanced of late, with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving it a further push.

Japan, with India and the US, is also a part of naval exercise Malabar, which has caused discomfort to China.

The exercise, which started as a bilateral one between India and the US now has Japan as a permanent partner. In 2007, when Japan and Australia were included in the exercise, China had issued a demarche to the countries.

Recently, on a tour to India, US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said that China’s objection was “fine” as it was not a part of the exercise. He also said that the exercise should be “inclusive” without declaring whether the US wanted China’s participation.

Asked if involving China in the exercise can be considered, Admiral Takei said: “There is no difference in China or any other country.”

The Admiral described the IFR, which saw the participation of 50 navies, as “a platform which can enhance interoperability”.

“Exercise at peace time makes the foundation for the emergency.”

Takei also fondly remembered his participation as a “young captain” in the previous edition of the IFR in 2001.

“The world is taking India more seriously now, India has grown as a nation,” he said.

Japan as sent its anti-submarine destroyer JS Matsuyuki to participate in the IFR.

In October last year, Indian Navy had also sent its Shivalik class stealth multi-role frigate INS Sahyadri to participate in a fleet review organised by the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force.

The IFR held at Visakhapatnam saw participation from 50 navies, with 24 foreign ships, and 71 Indian Navy ships. This was the second time the IFR was organised in India — the largest military exercise the country has held so far.

China, the US and Australia were among the participating navies.

(IANS) (pic courtesy: idrw.org)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)