India-Japan Relations

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  • Rathrachna Hoeung asked : Are there any security implications of the Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership for Southeast Asia?

    Rahul Mishra replies: Both India and Japan have mutually beneficial diplomatic and economic interests in the Southeast Asian region. While India has been strengthening its ties with countries in the region, both bilaterally as well as multilaterally, earlier through its ‘Look East’ and now ‘Act East’ policy, Japan’s renewed interest in the region too is clearly evident from its proactive diplomatic engagements under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan

    While the highlight of the visit was the signing of the nuclear agreement, other agreements signed will continue the rising trajectory in the strategic, economic, political and security partnership between the two countries

    November 18, 2016

    India in Japan’s Geo-strategic Outlook

    Japan’s long-standing alliance with the US is the key feature of its defence and security policy. However, China’s rise and impact on shaping the regional security architecture, and the vigour of US commitment in the backdrop of a G2 formulation, is making Japan diversify her options. Thus, India now features in the Japanese idea of Asia while it struggles to cope with the fluidity of the regional security landscape. This article critically analyses the increasing space accorded to India and the variables behind Japan’s courtship of it.

    July 2016

    Make in India and the Expanding Scope for India-Japan Defence Cooperation

    India’s defence modernisation presents enormous opportunities for the Japanese defence industry, which until recently concentrated exclusively on the domestic market in order to demonstrate Japan’s commitment to peace.

    December 29, 2015

    India-Japan Relations: New Times, Renewed Expectations

    India-Japan Relations: New Times, Renewed Expectations

    The biggest takeaway for India from Prime Minister Modi’s visit is Abe’s assurance of $33.5 billion public and private investment and financing including ODA, doubling Japanese FDI and the number of companies in India over the coming five years.

    September 04, 2014

    Priya Juneja asked: The economic ties between India and Japan while growing in recent years is still far below its potential. What are the policy constraints?

    Pranamita Baruah replies: India-Japan economic ties have witnessed remarkable growth in the last few years. In the FY 2011-12, the bilateral trade reached $18.43 billion from $13.72 billion in 2010-11. The conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries in October 2010 has played a significant role in enhancing the economic ties. According to the survey conducted by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in FY 2012, India was ranked the second (after China) among the promising countries for overseas business by the Japanese companies over the medium term. Since 2003-04, India has been the largest recipient of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). In fact, by February 2013, 66 projects were under implementation in India with Japanese ODA. Among them, the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) projects have been the most ambitious ones so far.

    Unfortunately, the bilateral trade seems to be quite disappointing given the enormity of the two economies. The investment from Japan too fails to reflect the potential of Japan to invest and the capability of India to absorb it. In spite of the fact that India’s growing economy and stable investment climate provides lot of opportunities to foreign companies, it still has not been able to attract adequate attention of the Japanese investors. Lack of appropriate infrastructure development is considered to be one of the major constraints in this regard. Till 1990s, factors like corruption, red-tapism, dense Indian bureaucracy, rampant corruption, social unrest, political instability, etc. seemed to discourage Japanese companies/investors from investing in India. Many of these factors continue to remain relevant even in today’s context. Adequate policy decision in doing away with these challenges is extremely important in boosting the India-Japan economic ties further.

    (Posted on June 02, 2014)

    Shinzo Abe’s Visit to India: Reviewing the Strategic Partnership

    Japanese prime minister Abe realises that solely relying on the US-Japan security alliance might not serve national interest in the fast evolving regional security architecture. So the leadership is diversifying its options and strengthening cooperation with countries like India and Australia.

    February 27, 2014

    Anudeep asked: How India-Japan relations can counter-balance Chinese assertions in the Asian theatre?

    Rup Narayan Das replies: India-Japan relationship has its own economic, political, and strategic imperatives, and should not be seen through the prism of containing China. As of now, India has received approximately US$15 billion in FDI from Japan. This accounts for about 7 per cent of the total FDI in India. Besides, there are more than 1,000 Japanese companies who have their offices in India. Also, India has been the largest recipient of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). Japanese companies are household names in India, be it automobiles or consumer durables. India’s infrastructural development projects of about $1 trillion, the prospect of High Speed Railways, and the recent decision to permit FDI in the railways, offer excellent win-win opportunities to both India and Japan.

    China’s assertiveness in the Asian theatre is certainly an issue which India and Japan cannot ignore. Both India and Japan would like to engage China for regional peace and stability, and to create and support a more balanced regional architecture. The defence cooperation between India and Japan should help in facilitating peace and stability in the region. A geo-strategic equilibrium in the Asia-Pacific region is in the interest of all the stakeholders as far as maritime security, freedom of navigation and energy security are concerned.

    For more on the subject, please refer to my following publication:

    The China Factor in India-Japan Relations,” China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, 14 (2), January 24, 2014.

    Posted on February 03, 2014

    India-Japan Relations: New Opportunities

    The Emperor of Japan and his wife are visiting India. 60-years ago they had laid the foundation stone of India International Centre. The visit will further strengthen India-Japan strategic partnership in the backdrop of major global and regional geopolitical shifts, particularly the rise of China; the US policy of ‘rebalancing’ and “pivot to Asia;” and maritime security challenges in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

    November 29, 2013

    Digvijay Singh asked: What is the strategic significance and implications of Indian prime minister’s recent visit to Japan?

    Shamshad Ahmad Khan replies: As part of annual summit level talks with Japan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Tokyo (May 27-30, 2013) and held talks with his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As a result of this visit, both the countries agreed to further strengthen their naval cooperation to safeguard the sea lanes of communication, the lifeline of their economies. Both sides agreed that they would hold an annual Maritime Affairs Dialogue to strengthen their maritime cooperation. Japan has also offered to sell the domestically manufactured US-2 amphibian aircraft to India. If the deal materialises, the Indian Navy can use it for both rescue and reconnaissance purposes. There has been some headway on Japan-India nuclear cooperation front as well. Both the prime ministers agreed that they would expedite the process of finalising an agreement in this regard.

    At the economic cooperation front – an integral aspect of the India-Japan strategic partnership - Japan has agreed to further invest in the infrastructure development projects in India. It was agreed during the summit level talks that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will get 26 per cent equity in Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC). The cost of the DMIC project has been estimated up to US $90 billion, quarter of the cost would be funded by Japan. Similarly, Japan has agreed to provide loan worth 71 billion yen for Mumbai Metro Line III project and 17.7 billion yen for campus development project of IIT Hyderabad. Japan has also shown interest in developing the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC).

    India needs about $1 trillion for infrastructure development which would require larger public investment and public-private partnerships (PPP) during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). Japan is likely to be one of the major contributors.

    It was also announced that the Japanese Emperor and Empress would be making their first-ever visit to India end of this year.