Japan and India have launched their first joint fighter jet exercise close to Tokyo in an effort to strengthen their defence and security relations and counter China’s escalating military power.
According to media reports, Eight Japanese fighter jets will participate in the 11-day joint exercise, along with four fighters, two transport aircraft, and an aerial refuelling tanker from India.
Approximately 150 members of the Indian Air Force are participating in the exercise at the Hyakuri Air Base in the Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.
The epidemic postponed the exercise that the two nations had agreed on at meetings between the foreign and defence ministers of Japan and India in 2019.
These drills are part of the Quad alliance, an association of regional nations growing increasingly concerned about China’s military and economic clout, including Japan, India, Australia, and the United States.
Earlier, the cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged in December to double defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2027 and referred to China as the biggest strategic challenge ever to Japan’s security.