On May 31st, the ANZAC-class Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Ballarat arrived in Kure after a North-East Asia tour that saw exercises with the navies of China and South Korea. It’s arrival in Japan precedes the bilateral Exercise Nichi Gou Trident 2012, taking place between June 4th and 5th.

HMAS Ballarat's arrives in Kure, May 31st 2012

HMAS Ballarat's arrives in Kure, May 31st 2012 (Source: DoD)

According to the Australian Department of Defence, the Ballarat will be joined by an RAAF AP3-C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, the Hatakaze-class Guided Missile Destroyer JS Shimakaze and an unnamed MSDF submarine: The exercise is slated to take place southeast of Kyushu, developing interoperability, with a “particular focus on complex Under Sea Warfare, Maritime Interdiction Operations and other core mariner skills activities”.

This comes amid increasing Japanese-Australian defense ties, including the signing of an intelligence-sharing agreement during Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s visit to Japan on May 18th.

Following Nichi Gou Trident, US Navy assets will join the fray for the trilateral Pacific Bond 2012, from June 6th to June 8th, once again focusing on “Under Sea Warfare and seek to further improve interoperability between all the three navies within the region.”

[H/T Greg Pampling, Thanks!]

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch