The Ground Self-Defense Force will conduct joint anti-terrorism drills with the Indian Army starting later this month, the Japanese Defense Ministry’s Ground Staff Office has said.

The first joint exercises between Japan and India will take place in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram between Oct. 27 and Nov. 18, the office said Friday.

The drills are aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation, it added. The move is also apparently intended to counter China’s growing assertiveness in nearby areas.

A total of about 60 Japanese and Indian officers will participate in the drills, including in a hostage barricade scenario.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, agreed last year to hold the joint exercises.

The GSDF carried out its first joint exercises with the British Army between last month and earlier this month, after conducting similar drills with the United States.

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