A grand reception hosted by the Indian side featured Bharatanatyam and Kalaripayattu.

It is said interpersonal equations often cover greater ground in international military relations than diplomatic ties do.

This was evident during the five-day visit of personnel of the Japan Coast Guard to Kochi for a joint exercise with its Indian counterpart. Held as part of a series of ongoing high-level dialogue between both forces to reinforce partnership, develop operational synergy and explore areas of mutual interest, the visit provided an occasion for servicemen on either side to get to know each other up close.

Japan Coast Guard (JCG) vessel Misuho called at the harbour here on January 11 with 68 personnel on board, including 38 officers.

A delegation comprising 13 officers from Japan and the Japanese Consulate in Chennai also joined them for the talks led by JCG chief Admiral Yuti Sato and ICG chief Vice-Admiral Anurag Thapliyal.

Besides the joint exercise undertaken by the forces off Kochi on Tuesday, there was a great deal of togetherness forged by way of informal interaction. The Japanese had a whale of a time enjoying water sports like kayaking and riding water scooters. A friendly, but closely fought tug-of-war made for sheer fun, with men in uniform from both sides literally sweating it out in the sultry climes of Kochi to come up trumps.

The reception hosted by the Japanese aboard the vessel Mizuho was fabulous, peppered as it was with unique cultural performances, demonstration of martial arts and customary practices. Senior officials from the Indian side gleefully took part in some of the performances.

Fruitful visit

A grand reception thrown by the Indian side on Wednesday night, after a half-day long debriefing of the joint drill, was equally enchanting with presentation of Bharatanatyam and Kalaripayattu.

A football match, played earlier on Wednesday, maintained very high standards.

While the Indian side was all praise for Japanese workmanship and craft, the visiting team commended Indian Coast Guard personnel for their high skill levels. “The Japanese ship here is nearly 27 years old, but they have maintained it in such a way that its interiors look brand new,” said an Indian Coast Guard officer.

On arrival in Kochi on January 11, Commanding Officer of Mizuho Captain Moriya Fukui called on Indian Coast Guard’s District Commander DIG TKS Chandran. Later on, the Japanese team paid a visit to Mayor Tony Chammany.

Ending a fruitful visit that paved the way for great bonhomie between both sides, the Japanese vessel Mizuho will depart Kochi on Thursday.

More In: Kochi