(2) Major Exercises in the Indo-Pacific

Peaceful, stable development of the Indo-Pacific region is essential for the world’s stability and prosperity. In line with the vision of “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” JSDF has been active in conducting bilateral as well as multilateral training and exercises in the region with nations in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Pacific islands, while seeking collaboration with the United States, Australia, India, European nations such as the United Kingdom and France as well as the European Union (EU).

While unilateral attempts to change the status quo continue in the South China Sea, JMSDF commenced “Indo-Pacific Deployment (IPD)” in 2017 in view of upholding and reinforcing a free and inclusive maritime order. IPD is an annual, multi-month JMSDF deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. IPD typically features an Izumo-class DDH (largest escort ship with helicopter deck). During IPD, the deployed units engage in a series of training & exercise events with the navies of Southeast Asian countries as well as Australia, India and others. They also make major port calls throughout the region.

In the Pacific islands region, JSDF has conducted HA/DR (Humanitarian assistance/Disaster relief) training with the United States and other partner nations. In addition, JSDF’s ships and aircrafts have been making visits in the region.

Major Exercises with Partner Nations in the Indo-Pacific
Click each for details

1. "Malabar 2021" Japan-US-India-Australia Multilateral Exercise

  • JMSDF continuously joined "Malabar", a Japan-U.S.-India trilateral exercise, since 2007. "Malabar 2021" was conducted as a quadrilateral exercise between Japan, the U.S., India and Australia, as conducted in 2020. The exercise took place in both of the Pacific and Indian Oceans respectively.
    • Phase 1, Part 1: Special Boarding Unit of JMSDF joined "Malabar" for the first time and conducted tactical training in Guam with Special Operation Forces and ships of participating countries.
    • Phase 1, Part 2: JMSDF conducted exercises including anti-submarine exercises in the Philippine Sea with ships of participating countries.
    • Phase 2: Indo-Pacific Deployment (IPD21) unit conducted exercises to include on-surface battle exercise in the Bay of Bengal with ships including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
    Through this series of the exercises, Japan, the U.S., India and Australia strengthened their cooperation to uphold and reinforce the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific".
Aug-Sep 2021
Phase 1
Oct 2021
Phase 2

2. "AMAN 21" Multilateral Exercise hosted by Pakistan Navy

  • JMSDF joined multilateral exercise "AMAN 21" hosted by Pakistan to train with various countries including the U.S. and the UK, who share the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" vision, as well as several Southeast Asian countries located in the Indo-Pacific region, Middle Eastern countries, China and Russia.
  • JMSDF conducted training to include tactical maneuvering training with ships and aircraft(s) of the U.S., UK, Indonesia, the Philippines, China and Russia on and over the northern Arabian Sea.
Feb 2021

3. "La Perouse 21" Japan-France-U.S.-Australia-India Multilateral Exercise

  • JMSDF joined multilateral naval exercise "La Perouse 21" hosted by France in the Bay of Bengal.
  • JMSDF conducted training such as anti-air, on-surface battle and Replenishment At Sea (RAS) with ships from France, the U.S., Australia and India.
  • This exercise aimed to show our commitment to uphold and reinforce the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”, and to strengthen cooperation and unity among the five nations who share fundamental values.
Apr 2021

4. Indo-Pacific Deployment(IPD) 2021

  • JMSDF deployed units led by JS Kaga to the Indo-Pacific region as a multi-month deployment. IPD21 units conducted training with navies of major European countries deployed to the Indo-Pacific region. The IPD is an annual deployment exercise.
  • In 2021, units in the IPD visited Pacific Island nations for the first time with port calls to the Republic of Palau and New Caledonia (France), while conducting goodwill or bilateral exercises.
  • Through the activities, IPD units maintained and enhanced the free and open maritime order in the region.
Date: August - November 2021
IPD Units:
JS Kaga
JS Murasame
JS Shiranui

(1) Japan-Palau Goodwill Exercise

Sep 2021
Near Palau

(2) "Oguri-Verny" Japan-France Bilateral exercise

Sep 2021
Near New Caledonia

(3) Japan-Germany Bilateral Exercise

Sep 2021
East of Indian Ocean

(4) "JA-LAN EX" Japan-Sri Lanka Bilateral Exercise

Oct 2021
Near Colombo

(5) "JIMEX" Japan-India Maritime Exercise

Oct 2021
On Offshore Area
West of India

(6) Japan-Vietnam Goodwill Exercise

Oct 2021
Near Hai Phong Port

5. Major Exercises in the South China Sea

Japan-US-UK-Netherlands-Canada-NZ Multilateral Exercise

  • The IPD21 units accomplished training including RAS while collaboratively cruising the South China Sea with Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) led by HMS Queen Elizabeth.
  • The training demonstrated that collaboration with countries who share fundamental values and strategic interests with Japan for upholding and reinforcing the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” which is to be irreversible.

Oct 2021

Replenishment at Sea

Japan-US-Australia Trilateral Exercise

  • JMSDF ships conducted tactical training with U.S. and Australian vessels while collaboratively cruising the South China Sea.
  • The training clearly showed cooperation and unity among the three nations, sharing strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by its own force.

Oct 2020

6. Japan-Philippine Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Training

  • JASDF aircraft and unit visited the Philippines and conducted bilateral HA/DR training with the Philippine Air Force in 2021. It is the first bilateral training between JASDF and Philippine Air Force. Through the training, Japan and the Philippines displayed progress in their defense cooperation to uphold and reinforce the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision.
  • In 2021, each of the three service of SDF(Ground/Maritime/Air) conducted respective exercises with the Philippines to show robust bilateral cooperation.
    • Sep 2021: JGSDF joined the exercise "Kamandag 21" hosted by the U.S. and the Philippines.
    • Sep-Oct 2021: JMSDF joined the exercise "Sama Sama 2021" hosted by the U.S. and the Philippines.
Jul 2021

7. "Cope North 22" Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Exercise/Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Training

  • JASDF has continuously conducted "Cope North" in Guam and surrounding areas. The exercise "Cope North" consists of two parts; Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Exercise and HA/DR training. The exercise originally started as a bilateral exercise with the U.S. in 1999, and Australia began participating since 2012.
  • In 2022, F-2, F-15 and other JASDF aircrafts as well as JMSDF US-2 participated in Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Exercise to which includes defensive counter air and search and rescue training. France also joined the "Cope North 22" to conduct Japan-U.S.-Australia-France quadrilateral HA/DR training.
  • The "Cope North 22" substantially contributed to improving Japan-U.S. allied bilateral response capabilities, interoperability between Japan, the U.S. and Australia as well as improving procedure and capabilities of the units for HA/DR with participating nations, in order to uphold and reinforce the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" vision.
Feb 2022 Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Exercise
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Training

8. HA/DR Exercise "Christmas Drop" in the regions including the Federated States of Micronesia

  • JASDF has participated in annual HA/DR airdrop training "Christmas Drop" since 2015 hosted by the U.S. Air Force in Guam and surrounding areas.
  • In 2021, as part of airdrop training, JASDF aircraft C-130 dropped donated supplies into the waters around the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau and Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Participation in the "Christmas Drop" has promoted better relations with Pacific island nations for upholding and reinforcing the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific".

Dec 2021

Dec 2021