• Defense & Security

Quad countries’ joint drills opened to press

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol helicopter and a Hyuga-class destroyer are seen in Pacific Ocean waters south of the Kanto region.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force on Friday invited the press to observe Malabar, a joint exercise with the U.S., Australian and Indian navies and the Australian air force being conducted in Pacific Ocean waters south of the Kanto region.

A total of 14 vessels from four countries, including the MSDF’s Hyuga-class destroyers and the U.S. Navy’s USS Ronald Reagan, are participating in the eight-day exercise that began Tuesday,

“Deepening cooperation with allies and other like-minded countries is important for a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said Hyuga Capt. Fumihito Takeshita, 53.

Malabar, which will include helicopter landing and takeoff drills, among others, is aimed at strengthening cooperation among the four countries in light of China’s increasingly aggressive maritime expansion.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
From bottom, U.S., Australian, Japanese and Indian ships conduct exercises in Pacific Ocean waters south of the Kanto region on Friday.