Crossfire War – TOKYO – DELHI – WASHINGTON WATCH – Arabian Sea – Indian Ocean Theatre: Tokyo – Moscow – Taipei – Canberra – Singapore – Delhi/Tehran – Kuala Lumpur- Beijing; India – Japan to Conduct First Joint Naval Exercise – US Could Join – Trilateral Cooperation – Sea Lane Security Allied Priority – Crude Oil Commerce
Night Watch: TOKYO – “It will be a very large exercise.” That is the extremely strategic quote from Japan Ambassador to India Yasukuni Enoki, speaking in an interview to the English language daily Asian Age, in describing the first joint naval exercise between India – Japan. The very large current threat from Tehran – Beijing is the reason. This is a direct follow up to Japanese security expert and former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, when he observed two years ago, that India and Japan should watch China closely. Tokyo is definitely aware that without the massive military-technological systems, exported by Beijing to Iran and other Islamic countries, Tehran would not be the nuclear-ballistic missile threat it is now. Tokyo also knows there is no chance for a peaceful resolution over Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, which is why Japan withdrew from the Persian Gulf late last year and withdrew a $10 billion investment from Iran. [IRNA]
It was late 2004 when crossfirewar.com reported Tehran’s announcement they wanted China to be the main importer of Iranian oil and gas instead of Japan. Almost the next day Tokyo changed its military – foreign policy to offensive instead of defensive. With economic lifelines at stake, for every Allied nation, sea-lane security is of paramount priority, especially with the constant shipments of crude oil, the lifeblood of military equipment. Regular readers of crossfirewar.com know I have always suspected one of the first maritime shipping lanes to be attacked are the ones around India, Arabian Sea-Indian Ocean-Bay of Bengal, as was international shipping in the Persian Gulf during the eight year Iran/Iraq War 1980-88.
With Tehran-Beijing now prepared to join the fourth war since 1947, between Islamabad/Delhi, it has dramatically increased the risk to international commerce in the region. With that in mind His Excellency Enoki continued, “Asia is huge enough to allow every variety of dialogue mechanism. Communication, particularly with oil…crude oil transport, is very much in the area of common interest of Asian countries. It is quite new, for example, to hold friendship joint exercises between Japanese vital defense vessels on their way back from the Arabian Sea. As you know, Japan is now deploying some vessels for logistical purposes in other countries such as US and the UK for their peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. Japan is still under constitutional constraint. There is very clear limit for Japan to exercise, to play a meaningful military role in this region. But there is ample room even under this constitutional constraint for both India and Japan to work together.”
It has also been reported Washington could participate in the exercises next month as an indication of the new “trilateral cooperation” between Delhi-Tokyo-Washington. For the past few years European Union governments, Russia and Australia have also increased their military cooperation with India. Singapore has become one of the more important staging areas and joint command centers. When the” dialogue mechanism” of events threatens and attacks international commerce, whatever constitutional restraints that remain, which limit Japan’s potential role in Asian security, will be removed.
As an added response to Beijing’s major role in preparing Tehran, Delhi and Tokyo could lead the international recognition of Taipei as the capital of the independent country of Taiwan. Taipei has also expressed its serious involvement in maritime security by participating in a lot of strategic conferences with Tokyo and other Allied capitals.