Tokyo: The multilateral exercise, Malabar 2022, between the navies of India, Japan, the United States and Australia commenced on Wednesday with the opening ceremony hosted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force onboard JS Hyuga at Yokosuka in Japan.

Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, led the Indian delegation which includes commanding officers and the crew of INS Shivalik and INS Kamorta.

"The multilateral Ex #Malabar22 b/n the navies of India, Japan, Australia, US began today with an opening ceremony hosted by the #JMSDF onboard JS Hyuga at Yokosuka, #Japan. RAdm Sanjay Bhalla #FOCEF led the Indian delegation comprising COs & crew of #INSShivalik & #INSKamorta at the ceremony," Indian Navy spokesperson said in a tweet.

Vice Admiral Yuasa Hideki, Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet JMSDF, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander, US Navy Seventh Fleet and Rear Admiral Jonathan Earley, Commander of Australian Fleet participated in the opening ceremony alongside personnel from their respective navies. Indian Naval ships Shivalik and Kamorta arrived in Japan on November 2 to participate in exercise Malabar 2022 and International Fleet Review (IFR).

Malabar Exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral naval exercise between the navies of India and the US. Japan joined the Malabar exercise in 2015, making it a trilateral exercise. In 2020, Australia became part of Malabar, making it a quadrilateral naval exercise.

India, US, Australia and Japan are also part of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD).

Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral R Hari Kumar is on an official visit to Japan where he witnessed the International Fleet Review (IFR) conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force at Yokosuka on Nov 6 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of its formation.

During his visit, he also met naval chiefs of the Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and US Navy.

The Malabar series of exercises has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years.

Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kamorta also arrived at Yokosuka, Japan on November 2 to participate in the IFR and Exercise Malabar - 2022.

The presence of these indigenously built ships of the Indian Navy at these multi-national events is an opportunity to showcase the ship-building capabilities of Indian Shipyards during a large international gathering.