On the India and Japan relationship and challenges from geopolitical issues

Source: This post is created based on the articles  

On the India and Japan relationship and challenges from geopolitical issues” published in The Hindu on 22nd March 2023 

A comprehensive partnership” published in Business Standard on 22nd March 2023 

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2, Bilateral and Regional agreements involving India.  

News: Recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister to India holds much more significance than it appears.   

Since 2006, the Prime Ministers of India and Japan have exchanged visits for their “annual summit” since 2006. These summits have been focussed on India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.  

However, this year’s visit of Japan’s PM is focussed on 2 main objectives: 

First, coordinating the G-7 and G-20 agendas on food and energy security issues arising mainly due to Ukraine conflict. Unveiling Japans $75 billion plan for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) 

Second, to work with countries in the region on avoiding debt traps, building infrastructure, and enhancing maritime and air security. 

What are Japan’s Objectives behind recent visit to India? 

Japan is looking bring India on board with the G-7’s plans to address the Ukraine issue and call out “Russian aggression”.  

Japan’s FOIP plan against China includes India as an important member.  

This visit is also a show of strength against the recent Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Moscow visit.  

What is the significance of India and Japan relations? 

First, India and Japan share a close bilateral and multilateral cooperation (the Quad).  

Second, India and Japan collaborate on many projects. Japanese corporations and investors have been a major source of infrastructure finance. For example, Japanese loan for the much-delayed “Bullet train” project, plan develop infrastructure to link Bangladesh and India’s northeast.  

Third, India is also a major economic and geo-economic partner for Japan.  

Fourth, as the presidents of G-7 and G-20, cooperations between both can ensure that the outcomes come in the favour if global south. There are pending issues like climate finance and transition finance, as well as reforming multilateral development banks like the World Bank. India has been invited as an observer to the G7 summit in Tokyo later this year.  

Fifth, both countries have common goals to end the Ukraine war and pushback against China’s aggression.  

Sixth, strategic component of the relations has expanded vastly. Present Japanese PM has also continued on the same approach.  

What are the differences between India and Japan’s approaches? 

First, Japan is part of the U.S.’s alliance, Unlike India. 

Second, Japan has been in favour of sanctions against Russia, while India has been neutral on this issue.  

Third, While India has been vocal about its concerns over China’s actions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), it has been hesitant in directly criticising China’s actions in the South China Sea, Taiwan Straits, etc. 

Fourth, India’s refusal to join Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and hesitancy towards the trade vertical of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. 


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