Securing the Sea: The Japanese crew of the naval ship Amagiri that arrived in Mumbai on a three-day visit. Vessel comes calling after completing an anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden

Mumbai: Amagiri, a Japanese maritime self-defence force naval ship, has called on the city after completing an anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden.

On a three-day visit, Captain Koji Saito and Commander Michiaki Mori, chief officer of Amagiri, called on Rear Admiral R.B. Pandit, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, and visited INS Kochi, the indigenous guided missile destroyer of the Western Fleet.

A statement issued by the Defence PRO said that both Japan and India have come a long way in institutionalising the defence relationship between the two countries.

The statement read, “The navies have built up high levels of interoperability through various types of interactions. Both navies share converging views on the maritime areas of freedom of navigation in South China sea, anti-piracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and information sharing. Japan has also been an important trade partner and a supportive friend of India in the world forums and the current visit by Amagiri would further strengthen the existing bond between the two navies.”

A delegation, headed by Superintendent (3rd Grade) Katsuhiko Sugiyama, Commanding Officer, Somalia Dispatch Investigation Team, visited the headquarters of the Coast Guard Region (West) on Tuesday. The delegation called on Inspector General K.R. Nautiyal, Commander, Coast Guard Region (W), and interacted with other officers from the western region. The delegation also sailed on board Amagiri.

The visiting delegation was briefed on notable search and rescue operations conducted by Indian Coast Guard during cyclone Ockhi. An overview of other successful missions was also given.

The Japanese delegation also visited Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, which is the nodal centre for coordinating search and rescue of distressed mariners in Indian Search and Rescue Region.

The visiting delegation was also shown a glimpse of surveillance capabilities of Indian Coast Guard at Remote Operations Centre. An interaction was held with officers at the headquarters of the Coast Guard Region (W) to discuss matters related to joint operations and anti-piracy patrol.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has shared a high level of coordination with the Japanese Coast Guard since 1999 and carried out 14 joint exercises.

A Japanese Coast Guard ship will be participating in Search and Rescue exercise (SAREX) being conducted by ICG off the coast of Chennai on January 17 and 18.