The BioWeapons Monitor 2012 contains country reports on BWC-relevant activities in eight states: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In-country authors collected and analysed relevant information that is distributed through this publication. The authors used open sources and actively sought information from government departments, research institutions, industry, scientific societies and other entities.
Two Russian built warships with the same name i.e. Admiral Gorshkov have been making news in the last few weeks. The first vessel is an aircraft carrier which was sold to India in 2004 and is rechristened as INS Viramaditya. It has been plagued in controversy due to costs and time over runs. The pre-delivery trials of the ship were unsuccessful and according to reports, the vessel will have to wait till the White Sea ice melts during the summer of 2013 to complete the trials.
The Indian Navy announced plans to dispatch a flotilla of four warships to the Asia Pacific region in March-April this year. These vessels will make goodwill visits to ports in the region and also engage in joint exercises with a number of regional navies: Singaporean Navy for the exercise Simbex in South China Sea; Malabar with the US Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) off the Okinawa coast; and Indra with Russian Navy off Vladivostok.
The India-Japan partnership is one of the important thrust areas of Japan’s new foreign policy. In the recent past, except Mori, Koizumi and Abe, other prime ministers have shown little enthusiasm for the improvement of relationship with India. However, that trend seems to be changing.
As per the UN High-Level Panel report on Threats, Challenges, and Changes, [titled ‘A more secure world: our shared responsibility’], two options were recommended for broadening the current representation of the UN Security Council. This was done primarily with the objective of providing geographical balance and changing power equations since the end of World War II and the creation of the United Nations.
Just as India is vying for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, Japan equally hopes for a larger role in the future of world affairs. Since Kofi Annan’s announcement in September 2004 of the possibility of increasing the permanent membership seats to nine from five, India and Japan, two of Asia’s powerhouses pressed for their recognition. Indeed, one is the second most populous nation and the other holds the second largest economy, it seems fitting for them to have a say in future world affairs.
Two piracy attacks in less than a fortnight on Japanese flagged vessels transiting through the Malacca Strait have shaken up the government in Tokyo as also the national shipping agencies. On March 14, armed pirates in three fishing boats boarded a Japanese-flag ocean tug MV Idaten towing a large construction barge Kurooshia, for Myanmar in the Straits of Malacca. They kidnapped the Japanese Master and two engineers. Later, the Royal Malaysian police patrol boats escorted the tug and towed the vessel to Penang.