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Indo-Japan relations may take a new dimension

The recent visit of Indian Prime Minister to Japan has created a new synergy in the relationship between the two countries but it has raised many eye brows in China which perceives it differently. The Chinese leadership distrustful of Japanese Prime Minister thinks Tokyo has played a tactical game to limit Chinese influence in Asia. China is still studying the whole development and might adequately respond when Chinese President visits India this month. Beijing is expanding its influence and trying to assert its preeminence in a manner it has angered many Asian neighbors. But most experts feel India-Japan burgeoning relationship may be a natural response to China’s assertive rise.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited Japan amid rising tension in South China Sea and growing strategic rivalry in Western Pacific region, has given a much needed boost to the bilateral relations between India and Japan.

Both are natural partners and maintain a similar outlook towards regional issues having common aspiration of a rising Asia that can foster in peace, development and future growth.

While Japan is facing economic slowdown in recent years, India is a rising economic power house in Asia which has lot of potential to attract biggest investment to the country.

The US has already planned a massive investment plan for India which it might unleash during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to America towards end of this month.

Already, China has announced its broad economic engagement with India which will be unfurled during Chinese President’s India visit. Besides, Beijing has secured four industrial parks in India.

If Japan does not show proactive policies then it may be too late for Tokyo to catch up. Indeed, Japan does not want to make the same mistakes it made by ignoring the potentiality of ASEAN in the 90s.

On the other hand, India and Japan are trying to build an independent relationship that is free from any third party influence.

Due to changing geopolitics, Japan does not have same level of confidence in US now and the growing assertiveness of China is a worrying factor as it might cost Japan losing territory if it does not act in a proactive manner.

India which has long border dispute with China is getting concerned about the intention of Chinese military which is showing jingoism in recent years.

While both India and Japan share common values, they also share a common worry-that is China. Yet, both India and Japan need each other to succeed economically. Thus, Japan has declared over 35 billion USD investment and aid in coming years for India.

This is a spectacular decision and it certainly shows Japan has posed confidence in India’s growth story. This has helped tremendously Modi to uplift his image as a business Prime Minister.

Now, Japan which is long trying to shift its deep business relation with China to a new country, no ASEAN country was in a position to give such a huge market access. That forced Japan to stay put in China despite strong resentment and anti Japanese feelings among Chinese people.

Now, since India is offering a better opportunity, Abe who is facing domestic challenge may use this occasion to boost his own image.

The changing geopolitics in Asia is forcing both India and Japan to come closer and address regional issues. While Japan badly needs a stable Indian Ocean for its trade and energy security, India also is keen to enter into Western Pacific to secure its national interests.

Over all, the expanding relations between two Asian neighbors suit each other and could leave a contributing effect on Asian century of growth and peace.