In the recent past and not without good reason,
has remained only a sub-text in Indian foreign policy paradigm as New Delhi’s policy makers have been overwhelmed by the
possible future charm of BRICS where in is a major player. China
Therefore, the strength or quality of Indo-Japan relationship is more understood from the context of Indo-China relationship. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit toBut the need to harness an enhanced cooperation with
thus raised serious curiosity. Japan
The importance of Indian Ocean remains a dominant factor as it is around 60 per cent of global maritime cargo, including oil supplies from the Middle East passes through
The significance of
Japan in the context of India’s foreign policy framing has again gained
currency as the new regime in New Delhi under
Prime Minister Modi is understood to be in the process undertaking necessary
tweaking vis-à-vis ’s
relationship with major global players. India
Having dealt with
Japan in his capacity as the chief minister of
Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi has a special bond with and especially with the
present regime there. Japan
Having said so, let us examine the vertex of Sino-India and Indo-Japan relationship.
China is India’s
neighbour in dispute on borders, India
has unsuccessfully fought 1962 battle against it and is a key member of BRICS. China is
neither of these. Japan
So was the hype about Modi’s
sojourn more than justified? Japan
The Modi detractors in
are already celebrating that the Indian Prime Minister could not extract a
civil Nuclear deal. Lest we forget, Japanese are very touchy about nuclear
issues as victims of India Hiroshima and holocaust they
see the technology as a chief harbinger of destruction and scaled up human
Civil nuclear talks were already hit badly by the
disaster in 2011 but Japan
agreed to resume negotiations last year (importantly under Manmohan Singh regime)
as it said it wanted to contribute to “nuclear safety worldwide”. India
Although much is being written about Sushma Swaraj missing the Japan trip, it was Modi’s External Affairs Minister Sushma only who had rightly flagged off the nuclear issue with her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida during their one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of Asean Regional Forum (ARF) meet in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw.
Sushma also had made it clear that
does not further delay in signing the nuclear agreement deal and made her
preference clear that during Prime Minister Modi’s visit there is a progress on
that line. New Delhi
MEA sources also maintained that as Prime Minister Modi shares a good rapport with Japanese PM, Shinzo Abe; both the leaders would walk the talk – at least give the nuclear talks a direction.
The big ticket announcement on Nuke-talks was hardly big.
Nevertheless, the trip cannot be dismissed as a set back as "The two prime ministers reaffirmed the importance of defence relations between
Japan and in their strategic
partnership and decided to upgrade and strengthen them," the leaders said
in their joint statement after
their summit-level parleys. India
The two prime ministers "recognised the enormous future potential for transfer and collaborative projects in defence equipment and technology between the two countries", the statement further said while Modi also welcomed
“relaxation of restrictions on transfer of defence equipment and technology”. Japan
The two sides also said they would speed up talks on nuclear energy co-operation and claimed "significant progress" although they failed to reach a last-minute agreement on safeguards sought by
But the optimism on the same is not lost out as both the leaders “directed their officials to further accelerate the negotiations with a view to concluding the Agreement at an early date, and strengthen the two countries' partnership in non-proliferation and nuclear safety".
During Modi’s stay, Japan promised $35 billion in investment and financing for Indian infrastructure for the next five years while Modi promised to introduce a special mechanism like a "Japan Fast Track Channel for Japanese investors in India" to woo investment into the country.
Perhaps realizing it well before hand that civil nuclear deal would not fructify, Modi displaying real polity instead focused on his new found political constituency in
extracted an agreement under which his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi will be developed as a "smart city" in
partnership with the Japanese city, .
Ahead of the visit, Mr Modi had said he expected the visit "will write a new chapter in the annals of the relations between
Asia's two oldest democracies and take our strategic and
global partnership to the next higher level".
This visit was aptly described as an attempt to balance ties with key world powers and to strengthen
's position in the
international community. India
It was also seen as if both nations would hope to “curb
rising activity” in the East and South
and the Indian Ocean.
In fact, Modi walked an extra mile when without naming
he made a veiled
attack on ‘expansionist” designs of the 18th century. The reference to “encroachment” and “entry
into the seas” is being interpreted as a reference to Beijing China’s spats with Japan
over the . Senkaku Islands
In another please
Tokyo agenda, the two Prime Ministers expressed concern
continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
They urged North Korea North Korea to take
concrete actions towards ‘denuclearization’, a long time demand of , and
other goals to fully comply with its international obligations. Japan
They welcomed that the next rounds of Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue and Defence Ministers dialogue would be held by the year end. They attached importance to the dialogue between their National Security Advisors, launched earlier this year soon after the creation of the National Security Secretariat in
and also underlined the importance of the 2 plus 2 dialogue, involving foreign
and defence secretaries, for their growing strategic partnership, and decided
to seek ways to intensify this dialogue. Japan
The communists bogey in
is already alarmed at
Abe-Modi greater synchronization. China
A communist party-run newspaper in
already said that strategies and the development of China-India
strategic relations will inevitably exert far-reaching influence upon China 's
strategic resources, channels and markets. Japan
China and India
has become a key issue for Abe, it further said. Tokyo
and New Delhi must consider the coexistence of China, Japan
in the region when promoting their security cooperation. As two Asian powers,
how the growing intimacy between US Japan
and India coordinates with
US "rebalancing to Asia" strategy
and cooperates with BRICS member states” span out remains to be seen. One
cannot agree more.
True, this hyped visit of Narendra Modi therefore solicits plenty of attention.