Japan Current Affairs - 2020

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Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan

Torrential rain and tornado-like winds lashed large parts of Japan, as the country was hit by Typhoon Hagibis. The typhoon is being touted as the strongest storm the country faced in past 60 years since Kanogawa Typhoon (1958).

Key Highlights

Typhoon ‘Hagibis’ means ‘speed’ in Philippine language, Tagalog.

Evacuation: More than 7 million people were urged to leave their homes amid severe flood and landslide warnings. Train services were halted, and over a thousand flights grounded. Amid the warnings Formula 1 had cancelled its Japanese Grand Prix as well as two Rugby World Cup games scheduled were also cancelled.

Landfall: After typhoon Hagibis made landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu, it ripped through Japan including Tokyo’s metropolitan area, caused multiple rivers to overflow, triggered landslides and power blackouts in nearly, 3,76,000 houses, more than 100 people were injured across country.

Current Status: The typhoon has now weakened to an extra-tropical cyclone off Japan’s northeastern coast, and most train services as well as most of the flights of Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. resumed operations after large-scale suspensions.

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Malabar Exercise 2019: India, Japan, US Naval Exercise begins

The Malabar Exercise 2019, the trilateral maritime exercise between navies of India, Japan and the US began off the coast of Japan. The year 2019 is the 23rd edition of Malabar Exercise.

Key Highlights

Indian Navy: Two frontline indigenously designed and built Indian naval ships participating in exercise are- INS Sahyadri, a multi-purpose guided-missile frigate and INS Kiltan, a ASW (anti-submarine warfare) Corvette. In addition to ships, a P8I (Poseidon Eight India) Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft has also reached Japan for the exercise.

The US Navy: It is being represented by USS McCampbell (DDG-85), a Los Angeles-Class Attack Submarine, and a ‘P8A‘ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Japan Navy: known as The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF). It is participating with its JS Kaga, a Izumo class helicopter destroyer, JS Samidare and Choukai, a guided-missile destroyers and a ‘P1’ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

During the harbour phase, the three partner navies would conduct sports fixtures, official protocol visits, reciprocal ship visits, professional interactions in subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and social events.

Significance

Malabar 2019 exercise seeks to further strengthen India-Japan-US naval cooperation and enhance interoperability, based on shared values and principles. The exercise involves complex maritime operations in surface, sub-surface and air domains. It also focuses on maritime interdiction operations (MIO), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air and anti-surface firings. Apart from these it also includes visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and tactical scenario-based exercise at sea.

Thus the participation of Indian naval ships and aircraft in the trilateral exercise would significantly bolster strong maritime bonds of friendship between three participant countries and at the same time it would contribute towards security and stability in region.

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