(From Reuters)

Japan is set to take part in joint naval exercises with India and the United States in the Indian Ocean in October, military and diplomatic sources said, a drill that so riled China eight years ago that Delhi has not since hosted such a multilateral wargame.

The Indian Ocean has emerged as a new arena of competition between China making inroads and India trying to recover its position as the dominant maritime power in the region.

Indo-US joint naval exercise in 2012

New Delhi’s decision to expand the “Malabar” exercises that it conducts with the United States each year to include Japan suggests a tightening of military relations between three major maritime powers in Asia, analysts said.

Military officials from India, the U.S. and Japan are meeting at a U.S. navy base in Yokosuka, near Tokyo, on Wednesday and Thursday to plan the exercises, a navy and a diplomatic source in New Delhi said.

A Japanese government official in Tokyo confirmed the meeting and said representatives from the three navies were discussing Tokyo’s participation in the wargames. He declined to be identified. Read more

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