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India-Japan friendship for Global Peace and Prosperity

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January 18, 2022

What is the issue?

70 years after diplomatic relations were established between India and Japan, they have evolved into natural partners

How was the prehistoric relationship between India and Japan?

  • The goodwill between the people of the two countries was deeply rooted through business, academic and cultural exchanges.
  • A long history of people-to-people exchanges can be traced back to the sixth century.
  • Buddhism was brought to Japan and, in 752AD.
  • Great Buddha Statue at Todai-ji - An Indian monk, Bodhisena, performed the consecration ceremony for the Great Buddha Statue at Todai-ji
  • This is one of the most important temples in Japan.
  • Trade - During the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japanese travelled to India to purchase cotton, iron ore, etc to modernise its industry.
  • Art and Literature -The exchanges among artists is notable. This includes an interaction between the Nobel Laureate in literature, Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin, a Japanese philosopher.

How was relationship Post-Independence?

  • Formal relations between Japan and India began in 1952.
  • India wanted honour and equality to be ensured for Japan to rejoin the international community.
  • After WW2, instead of signing the multilateral San Francisco Peace Treaty, India opted for concluding a bilateral peace treaty with Japan,
  • This is the cornerstone of our long-standing friendship.
  • In 1951, India invited Japanese athletes for the first Asian Games hosted by India in New Delhi.
  • This was one of the first occasions where the Japanese flag was hoisted after WWII.
  • This experience soothed the minds of Japanese people who were struggling to rebuild their country.

What are the present Areas of Cooperation?

  • Today the relationship grew into a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.
  • Democracy  - Both India and Japan are democratic countries in Asia.
  • We share common political, economic and strategic interests based on our common values and traditions.
  • Promoting Global Peace - India and Japan work together for  
    • Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)
    • Building  a rules-based free and open international order.
    • Various other global issues
  • Partnership is based on a deep respect for each other’s contributions in promoting peace, stability and development in Asia and beyond.
  • Economic Relations - Japan has been the largest ODA (Official Development Assistance) donor to India. For example, Collaboration in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project.
  • Both countries have also promoted economic cooperation in other countries to enhance social infrastructure and connectivity.
  • Our economic partnership can further strengthen the economy of the Indo-Pacific, as well as the world economy.
  • There are a plethora of fields that we can cooperate in security issues including cyber security, outer space and economic security.
  • Cultural Relations - This including literature, movies, music, sports and academics
  • The number of Japanese learners is increasing in India.

What the 70th anniversary celebrations signify?

  • The year 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India.
  • The entire year will be marked by celebratory events.
  • This is an opportunity to reminisce, be mindful of the present and envision our future.
  • The 70th anniversary is based on the theme “building a future for our centenary"



  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/india-japan-diplomatic-relations-7728623/
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