On 16 October 2021, the European Union (EU) and Japan conducted a joint naval exercise off the coast of the Gulf of Aden and of the Arabian Sea. The exercise involved assets of EU Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta and of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force. Furthermore, the participating assets exchanged information with the Oman Maritime Security Centre. Based on the scenario of an anti-piracy operation, the joint naval exercise included boarding a vessel, cross-deck helicopter landings, complex tactical evolutions and a joint patrol in the high seas.
This exercise follows numerous other EU-Japan joint naval activities, including a joint EU-Japan-Djibouti exercise in May 2021. The newly adopted EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific calls for more joint activities with Indo-Pacific partners to promote maritime security in the region. In addition, the EU intends to strengthen its partnership with the Gulf countries.
The EU remains committed to maintaining the rules-based international order, including through practical maritime cooperation on freedom of navigation and overflight, in order to secure the safety of maritime routes, protect the world’s maritime domain from all traditional and non-traditional threats, and enhance prosperity through peaceful and stable oceans. Together with its Indo-Pacific partners, the EU will further contribute to maintaining and strengthening the stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development of the region.