Critically discuss the strategic underpinnings of India-Japan relations.

India and Japan, both are the largest and oldest democracies in Asia. The relationship between India and Japan has always been strong. The people of both countries exchange culture, share a commitment to the ideals of democracy, tolerance, pluralism. Buddhism created a cultural link between the two as it had spread indirectly from India to Japan.

Present relation

  • In 2000, during his India visit Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to formulate the “Global Partnership between Japan and India”.
  • Japan became a key partner of India after the ‘Look East’ policy formation.
  • In 2005, Japan-India annual summit meetings were organized.
  • During the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the relation between both nations was uplifted to “Global and Strategic Partnership”.
  • Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe was invited as a chief guest in the Republic Day parade, 2014.
  • After several visits, the Prime minister of both nations, “Japan and India Vision 2025 Special Strategic and Global Partnership” was announced in 2015.
  • Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy agreement was signed in 2016.
  • Despite being a non-signatory of the non-Proliferation Treaty, India received an exemption from Japan.
  • Agreements have been signed on skill development in India, earth sciences, space programs, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, transport, and infrastructure development.

Economic relation

  • “Japan-India Global Partnership in the 21st Century.” has been established by both countries in 2001.
  • Japan is the 3rd largest investor in India’s economy with significant FDI inflows.
  • Japan is India’s 14th largest import partner.
  • A low-interest loan has been provided by Japan for Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project.
  • An agreement was signed in 2015 for a bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. A larger part of the funding has been sponsored by a low-interest loan from Japan.

Apart from that the co-operation of both countries for fighting international crime, terrorism, naval exercise named Exercise Malabar, and several other cultural and developmental ties between India and Japan has strengthened their relationship.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Critically discuss the strategic underpinnings of India-Japan relations.

Published: September 18, 2017 | Modified:September 12, 2020

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