Sunday, 28 September 2014

Emerging trends between the Indo - Japan relationship

India and Japan's relations have traditionally been strong. Our previous prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan in December 2013 was a much celebrated visit, as scholar Vivek Pinto recalls the first line of Robert Browning's poem “The Patriot” and describes it as, "it was roses, roses, all the way”

During a speech regarding ‘Shift to proactive diplomacy’, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “I will engage in strategic dialogue with countries that share fundamental values such as India, with the view of widening the circle of free societies in Asia”, this may help us in understanding the recent growing interest of Japan in increasing friendly relationships with India.

Bilateral relationship: Japan wants a bilateral relationship with India as it serves long term interests of both countries, enhances all round co-operation and contributes to greater regional peace and stability. Though it is not easy as it requires a careful understanding of complex variety of forces. During the Japan delegation  our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw light on the Indo- Japanese relationship. He said that India and Japan share strong Buddhist cultural linkages.

Economic Partnership: Japan has a good reputation for making high technology products and Indian economy is the tenth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Some of the popular brands of Japan are Suzuki, Panasonic, Canon, Toyota and Honda. The Indian brand, Maruti, in partnership with Suzuki motors co-operation bought cars within the budget of middle class household. Japan is also the second largest contributor to the budget of the UN. Such facts and figures clearly illustrate the economic potential of Japan.

Increasing Indo- Japanese relationship: Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) was enforced between India and Japan along with Seven Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). EPA and CEPA were the outcome of report submitted by the “India-Japan joint study group (IJJSG)” which later made for reinforcement in economic development.

The Japanese co-operation in power sector with India is considered good. The upcoming collaboration between the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science of Japan and the Indian Department of Bio-technology and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology field, which includes nano-technology and materials, energy and environment, life science and information, and communication technology, plays an important role in maintaining good relation between the two countries.

Along with that, Japan is furthering its strategic objectives by strengthening its domestic economy through foreign trade and investment relationships with India. On 25th June 2014, Narendra Modi said that the strategic and global partnership with Japan is a high priority for India and also that India and Japan share the “fundamental identities of values, interest and priorities”

Various features of Indian economy such as ready market for its consumers and democratic institution, when placed in international context resulted in luring Japanese investors to lucrative markets and investment in India. Narendra Modi in the Japanese delegation welcomed the parliamentary exchange between the two countries.

On nuclear co-operation front, India and Japan are organizing a frequent coast guard and naval exercise in region to prepare for terrorist attacks in the region. According to Article 9: “The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation on a threat or use of force as means of settling international dispute”

With the growing friendly relations between India and Japan, there would be benefits to both the countries on economic front, as economic resurgence offers variety of investment opportunity both in traditional and new sectors. There will be a support to the national economy as well.  Thus , the good relation between India and Japan would be beneficial to both countries in economic , political as well as socio-cultural front.

Oshin Dhawan 

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