January 02, 2019
6 months

What is the issue?

  • In recent times there is evidence of improving Sino-Japanese Ties.
  • Amidst such a scenario, India must recalibrate its strategic partnership with Japan.

What are the existing bilateral ties between India and Japan?

  • Infrastructure - Between 2000 and 2017, Japan invested $25.6 billion in domains including infrastructure, retail, textiles, and consumer durables.
  • Japan is involved in big-ticket projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, and set up around 12 industrial parks across different States.
  • India signed a joint high-speed rail project with Japan, for which the first installment of Rs. 5,500 crore was released by Japanese Industrial Cooperation Agency (JICA).
  • Defense co-operation - India and Japan had hosted various bilateral exercises, recently naval cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has held in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Developmental Projects - Together, both nations have constituted the Japan-India Act East Forum with an objective of spearheading development cooperation in north-eastern States bordering China, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
  • JICA has signed a $610-million pact with the Centre for phase I of the North-East connectivity projects.

What is the significance of Indo-Japan ties?

  • Both India and Japan are confronting challenges with volatile global order in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Therefore, cooperation between them, and that too on multiple fronts is both obvious and desirable.
  • Their collective interest in forging better and stronger ties has been demonstrated by both the quantity and quality of the reciprocal state visits witnessed in recent years.
  • Besides, it is said that the nations’ personal rapport and the fact that both of the premiers exhibit similar right-wing nationalist sentiments seem to have brought them on the same page.

What is the status of Sin0-Japan ties?

  • The Sino-Japan bilateral trade equals $300 billion in 2017, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.
  • Japanese Logistics Corporation has partnered with its Chinese to open up a trial logistics route from the eastern coast of China to Western Europe and Central Asia.
  • The Japan-China rapprochement is governed by multiple factors. Japan needs access to China’s market.
  • While for China, whose ambitious BRI project is facing hurdles and opposition over the issues of transparency and is constantly being reviewed by successive governments, partnering with Japan will be a much-needed boost to its image.
  • China’s economy and currency are facing tough times owing to trade spatting with the US and is willing to partner with other regional powers.

What are opportunities before India?

  • The Japan-America-India (JAI) trilateral summit on the sidelines of G-20, reiterating a free and open Indo-Pacific, hints that the Sino-Japan rapprochement could be “tactical” at best.
  • However, these recent developments negate the typical “cold war” dynamics between China and the so-called democratic “Quad” that is increasingly being used to analyze the international politics in Asia.
  • Major Asian powers are engaging with each other guided by economic rationale.
  • Therefore, Asia is witnessing a strategic flux where power is diffused and demarcation of geopolitical interests are blurred.
  • Given the scenario, it is pertinent for New Delhi to not adopt a zero-sum game approach and objectively contextualize the Indo-Japan strategic partnership amidst interchangeable variables of the emerging strategic equation.


Source: Business Line  

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