Prospects of India- Japan Relations

Synopsis: India- Japan relations will mainly center around the goal of containing aggressive China. A glimpse of it can be seen in the recent Japan-U. S meeting.

Background
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to visit India as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic normalizes.
  • Outcomes of the recent Japan-US meeting gave a glimpse of what India can expect from Japan.
What were the outcomes from the recent Japan-US meeting?

Japan-US discussions mainly centered around China.

  • First, both the countries assured their commitments to the joint security partnership. The treaty is significant given China’s recent aggressiveness in territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas as well as in the Taiwan Strait.
  • Second, Since the nature of conflict is changing, both sides acknowledged the importance of extended deterrence through cooperation on cybersecurity and space technology.
  • Third, a Competitiveness and Resilience Partnership, or CoRe was announced to support funding of new-age technologies.
    • The funding will be used for the deployment of secure 5G networks to build digital infrastructure in developing countries.
    • Given the Chinese ambitions to dominate the development of new-age technologies such as 5G and quantum computing the announcement of CoRe is significant. For instance, China recently pledged to invest $1.4 trillion in emerging technologies.
  • Fourth, both the countries expressed their willingness to continue pressure on China to reform China’s offensive economic practices. Such as violations of intellectual property rights, forced technology transfer, excess capacity issues, and the use of trade-distorting industrial subsidies.
  • Fifth, both the countries emphasized their vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law, freedom of navigation, etc.
  • Sixth, they also expressed their continued support for the QUAD.  Further, they criticized China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang, suppression of protests in Hong Kong, and military aggression towards Taiwan.
What one can expect from the upcoming India-Japan meeting?
  • First, there will be a continuation of the balancing security policy against China as both have been the victims of China’s aggressive posture.
  • For instance, Japan is concerned over China’s unilateral actions in the East and South China Seas, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong. Whereas, India is concerned over China’s military conflict in Galwan valley.
  • Second, both the countries will be reaffirming their support for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific and the Quad grouping.
  • Third, given China’s commitment towards massive funding for new-age technologies, India and Japan will be willing to expand their cooperation in sectors such as cybersecurity and emerging technologies. However, there are few irritants in cybersecurity cooperation.
    • One, India’s insistence on data localization.
    • Two, India’s reluctance to accede to global cybersecurity agreements such as the Budapest Convention.
  • Fourth, given that Japan is only India’s 12th largest trading partner and trade volumes between the two stand at just a fifth of the value of India-China bilateral trade. There will be commitments towards increasing Trade between the two countries.
    • Japan may reaffirm its support for key manufacturing initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’ and the Japan Industrial Townships.
    • Whereas, India will be willing to secure continued infrastructure investments in the strategically vital connectivity projects. For example, the Northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands connectivity projects
  • Fifth, given the failure of joint infrastructure projects in Africa and Iran, both countries will be interested to evolve a joint strategy towards key third countries.
    • Further, Japan will be willing to push India to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Source: The Hindu

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