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Australia to join naval exercise with India, US, Japan

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    Kyodo News

New Delhi, India   /   Tue, October 20, 2020   /   10:15 am
Australia to join naval exercise with India, US, Japan The U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge sail alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea May 17, 2019. Picture taken May 17, 2019. (Reuters/US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Singley/Handout )

Australia will join a naval exercise with India, the United States and Japan to be held later this year in the Indian Ocean, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

"As India seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defense cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy," the Indian ministry said in a statement.

The Malabar series of naval exercises started in 1992 as a bilateral Indian Navy-US Navy exercise. Japan joined in 2015.

In recent years, the annual exercise was conducted off the coast of Guam in 2018, off the coast of Japan in 2019 and is expected to be held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea later this year.

On Oct. 6, the foreign ministers of India, Japan, the United States and Australia, held a meeting of foreign ministers in Tokyo in which they tacked security issues.

The four major Indo-Pacific democracies, collectively known as the Quad, vowed to step up coordination in creating a free and open Indo-Pacific, in a veiled counter to China's rising assertiveness in the region.