Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force said Tuesday it has been conducting exercises with the Indian Navy in waters off the South Asian nation's east coast amid China's growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

The MSDF helicopter carrier Izumo and destroyer Takanami have joined the weeklong drills that began on Sunday in the area stretching from the Andaman Sea to the strategically important Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean, with India's destroyer Ranvijay and frigate Sahyadri also participating.

The exercises come after Japan and India held "two-plus-two" security talks in Tokyo last Thursday, where their foreign and defense ministers agreed on enhancing bilateral defense cooperation, including joint exercises.