GSDF weighs participation in India-led multinational military drills

JIJI

The Ground Self-Defense Force is considering participating in multinational military exercises to be held in western India this March, Jiji Press has learned.

Up to 300 people from 18 countries, including Japan, the United States, China, South Korea and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, are set to take part in the joint drills, an Indian government source said Friday.

The joint drills are scheduled to kick off March 2 and will last a week.

Using the Indian Army’s Southern Command in Pune, Maharashtra state, as a base, the participants will engage in peacekeeping activities such as mine-cleaning in a bid to boost cooperation among the participating nations.

The exercise will be the largest multinational drill in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the leaders of other countries may also visit for inspections, the source said.

The 18 countries had agreed on the joint drill at a meeting of their respective defense ministers. The previous such exercises, which were the first within this framework, were hosted by Brunei in 2013.