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Indo-Japan-US naval exercises not against any country

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Chennai: The ongoing six-day Malabar joint naval exercise by India, the US and Japan is not targeted at any country but is aimed at increasing maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, Vice Admiral Y Murakawa of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) said here on Thursday.

Queried about the China’s objection to the exercise, which commenced on Wednesday, in Vice Admiral Murakawa: “As far as this exercise is concerned, it is not targeted at any country,” adding that Japan was participating in the exercise to create free oceans for commerce.

China is claiming rights over South China Sea, which is being objected to by several nations, including Japan.

The naval exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian and US navies and was expanded to include Japan.

This year it is held in the Bay of Bengal.

Murakawa said India and Japan have signed agreement for defence cooperation and the joint naval exercise is meant to improve tactical capability and increase cooperation.

According to Vice Admiral B K Verma of the Indian navy, Japan is participating in the exercise for the fifth time.

“We participate to keep the sas open for commerce,” Vice Admiral Verma added.

Queried about the learnings for the navies from the past editions of Malabar, he said it improves inter-operability, sharing of best practices and helps in disaster relief operations.

He said the joint naval exercise is one forum of interaction between the participating navies.

Rear Admiral S V Bhokare said such exercises enable the naval personnel to participate in other naval exercises in a easy manner.

According to Vice Admiral J P Aucoin the joint exercises would develop better relationship and partnership among the navies.

The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on anti-submarine warfare, surface firings, air defence, visit board search and seizure, search and rescue and tactical procedures, the Indian navy said.

During this year’s event, Indian navy will be represented by INS Shivalik an indigenous frigate, INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, INS betwa an indigenous frigate and INS Shaki, a fleet support ship.

In addition one Sindhugosh class submarine INS Sindhudhvaj, long range maritime patrol aircraft P81 and integral rotary wing helicopter are also scheduled to participate in Malabar 15.

The US navy will be represented by Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Teeodore Roosevelt, Ticonderoga class cruiser USS Normandy and Freedom class littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth.

One Los Angeles class nuclear powered submarine USS City of Corpus Christi, F18 aircraft and P8A long range maritime patrol aircraft will also participate.

The JMSDF will have its JS Fuyuzuki a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter.

(IANS)

 

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Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

Trump to negotiate the trade deal with Japan

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

The US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and that his country would only re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if its member countries offered him a deal he could not refuse.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP. But if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US, I would do it. In the meantime, we are negotiating, and what I really would prefer is negotiating a one-on-one deal with Japan,” Donald Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, Abe stressed his country’s position towards the TPP, saying that it “is the best for both countries,” although he acknowledged the US’s interest in a bilateral trade deal, Efe reported.

Trump said that should his country reach a trade agreement with Japan, there will be talks about the possibility of ending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that Washington introduced in March to a number of countries, including Japan.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added that his primary concern at the moment is the “massive” trade deficit with Japan, which amounted to “from $69 billion to $100 billion a year.”

In fact, the trade deficit with Japan last year stood at $69 billion, far from the $100 billion that the US President claimed, according to the official figures by the US Department of Commerce.

The two leaders made these announcements in a joint press conference at the tycoon’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where Abe arrived on Tuesday to have meeting with Trump on his four-day visit to the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Last week, the White House announced that Trump had asked the US foreign trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the economic adviser Larry Kudlow to “take another look at whether or not a better deal (with the TPP) could be negotiated.”

However, Trump has shown little interest in negotiations that would further complicate the matter, since the other 11 countries that negotiated the original TPP, with the then Barack Obama administration, have already signed their own multilateral deal, the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or TPP-11.

Shinzo Abe
FILE IMAGE- Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

Trump has granted a temporary exemption until May 1 to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the European Union.

Also Read: White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

Japan has been left out of the exempted countries despite being one of the US’s major allies, and for that reason Abe is trying to make use of his visit to secure a place on that list, although Japan barely produces aluminum and the amount of steel exported to the US stands at only around 5 percent of its total steel exports.  IANS

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