Japan, Other "Quad" Members, France Start Joint Naval Drills
New Delhi, April 5 (Jiji Press)--Three-day joint naval exercises among the Quad countries--Japan, the United States, Australia and India--and France began in the Bay of Bengal, part of the Indian Ocean, on Monday.
It is the first time for India to take part in the French-led exercise, La Perouse. The five nations will conduct training for anti-aircraft and maritime warfare, among other drills.
After holding their first summit in March, the Quad countries now aim to work with France to keep a check on China, which is increasing its expansion into the Indo-Pacific region.
A total of eight vessels, including the Akebono destroyer of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, are participating in the drills. Arnaud Tranchant, captain of the Tonnerre amphibious assault ship of the French navy, who heads the joint drills, said that the exercises are intended to strengthen interoperability, according to Indian media.
France, which has territories in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean, is concerned about China's growing maritime activities. France is aiming to demonstrate its deployment capabilities in its strategic regions, on top of reinforcing interoperability, through the drills, an official of the French Embassy in New Delhi said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]