India Japan relations

The time has come for India and Japan to build a strong contemporary relationship, one involving global and strategic partnership that will have a great significance for Asia and the world as a whole. Comment.

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The India-Japan partnership, described as one of the most rapidly advancing relationships in Asia, has emerged as a significant factor contributing to the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific region. Deviating from the traditional policy of focusing on economic engagements, the partnership has significantly diversified to include a wide range of interests—including regional cooperation, maritime security, global climate, and UN reforms.

The strategic consequences of a rising China in the Indo-Pacific is providing greater momentum to the India-Japan partnership. Both Japan and India through strategic convergence seeks to re-calibrate Asia’s balance of power. It can be reflected in flowing initiatives:

◾Cooperation in Indo-Pacific region:

◾It is a confluence between India’s Act East policy and Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy.

◾It will strengthen the rule of law and freedom of navigation, which is threatened by China’s muscle flexing in the South China sea.

◾It will enhance cooperation with Japan and ASEAN countries.

◾Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC):

◾Japan looks to invest nearly $200 billion in Asia Africa region, that will turn the 21st century from an Asian century to Asian-African century.

◾Japan will provide the state of the art technology and India will bring its expertise of working in Africa.

◾AAGC seeks to counter China’s influence, that it is establishing through Belt and Road Initiative.

◾Japan, US, India(JAI) and Australia combinedly called Quad, is seen as an informal organisation that seeks to counter China.

◾Japan is taking the North-East Road Network Connectivity improvement project, this will be a crucial link in India’s Act East policy.

◾India and Japan are negotiating cross-service agreements that will give access to each other’s military facilities and could foster much closer military to military relations.

Apart from this, there are several engagements between India and Japan which are independent of China.

◾Economic engagement: Japan has made investment in India’s infrastructure. For example: Delhi-Mumbai economic corridor, Bullet train, Delhi metro etc.

◾India along with Japan, Brazil and Germany forms the grouping called G4 countries, that seeks UNSC reforms.

◾India is the first(non-signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT,) country with whom Japan has signed a civil nuclear deal.

This will establish India’s credibility as a responsible nuclear power.

It will boost India’ make in India initiative.

It will augment India’s INDC commitment at Paris climate deal.

Japan can prove to be a development multiplier in India. Therefore, India should develop an independent relation with Japan which is not to be seen in the context of China, US or any other country.

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