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Japan, the United States and India will carry out a joint military drill in the Pacific off Japan's coast amid concerns about China's military build-up, a report said Monday.
The Pentagon will call on Japan and India to participate in the military exercise set for next month, the regional Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported, citing unnamed Japanese and US government sources.
The drill is likely to focus on safety measures to be taken in the event of a major natural disaster in the Pacific such as a tsunami, it said.
Japanese naval escort vessels and maritime patrol helicopters are expected to participate in the drill, it said.
Japanese defense officials were not immediately available for comment.
The report came a day after China announced its defense budget would soar by a massive 17.8 percent in 2007, as the United States said it wanted to know more about the Asian giant's intentions.
China has seen double-digit increases in its military spending nearly every year for the past 15 years. Washington and Tokyo have called on Beijing to be more transparent about its massive budget.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said he wants to develop closer ties with India. He and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in December agreed to start talks on a free trade deal.