CONTEXT : Recent developments in the Indo-Japan relations saw a major shift with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida visiting India for India Japan Summit.

Next in line was QUAD Summit in the same month of May 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had his official visit to Japan for the 4th QUAD leaders summit in Tokyo.

Statements for Mains answers:

  1. “Our confidence and determination are strengthening the democratic forces. Our cooperation at the level of Quad is aimed at an inclusive Indo­Pacific region. We increased cooperation during the COVID­19 regarding vaccine delivery, climate action, supply chain resilience, disaster response”,  -PM Modi.

  2. Indian PM called India-US partnership a,“Partnership of Trust”, “our shared values and our common interests in many areasincluding security, have strengthened the bond of trust”.

  3. President Biden said, He will work for India-US relationship to be, “among the closest” in world.

International Relations Prelims Mains: GS 2: UPSC: IAS: IPS: IFS: General studies: PSIR:

Background of Indo-Japan relations :

  1. Year 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of India- Japan diplomatic relations.
  2. It was the first visit of Mr. Fumio Kishida to India as a head of Government.
  1. Historical perspective:
    1. Origin
      1. The amity between India and Japan has a long history embedded in spiritual affinity and strong artistic and civilizational ties.
      2. Exchange between Japan and India is said to have begun in the 6th century when Buddhism was introduced to Japan.
      3. In 752 A.D. sanctification or eye- opening of the towering statue of Lord Buddha in Todaiji Temple( Nara) was brought off by an Indian monk, Bodhisena.
      4.  Indian civilization, filtered through Buddhism, has had a great impact on Japanese civilization, and this is the root of the Japanese people's sense of closeness to India.
      5.  It's important to note that since ancient times, India and Japan have never been adversaries.
    2. During India’s freedom
      1. The leader of India’s Freedom Struggle, Rash Behari Bose was important in forging India – Japan relations during India’s independence movement.
      2. During World War II, The British occupiers of India and Japan were adversaries during World War II. Subhas Chandra Bose used Japanese backing to form the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army( INA).
    3. After India’s Independence
      1. After India got independence, both the countries tried to make a strong foundation on which the current state of their relations rest.
      2. In 1949, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru bestowed an Indian elephant to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
      3. This brought a shaft of light into the lives of the Japanese people who still hadn't recovered from defeat in the Second World War.
      4. Post the Second World War, India didn't attend the San Francisco Conference where Japan was pushed to a corner by the victorious confederated power of war.
      5. Japan and India inked a peace convention and established diplomatic relations on 28th April, 1952. This convention was one of the first peace covenants Japan inked after World War II.
      6. In 1958, India was the first country to take loans for development in Japanese currency.
    4. In the Post-Cold War Era
      1. The fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the USSR gave further motivation to India- Japan relations.
      2. India’s East Asia Policy and its need to fill the void left by the termination of the Soviet Union, cemented the bond between India and Japan indeed more.
      3. Fostering of this relation though entered a jolt when India tested it nuclear munitions at Pokaran in 1998 and Japan being a victim of two atomic bombs condemned the former.
      4. The relationship between the two countries was soon revived as the also Prime Minister of Japan Yoshiro Mori visited India in the year 2000 and “ Global Partnership for India and Japan for 21st Century ” was inked.
      5. A Further upgrade of this relation took place when in 2006, the association between the two countries was elevated and nominated as “ Global and Strategic Partnership ”.
      6. In 2014, the relation was enhanced further to “ Special Strategic and Global Partnership”
  2. Bilateral Trade and economic
    1. India and Japan have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2011.
    2. Japan is one of the biggest investors in India. Some of the Mega Projects with Japanese investments are:
      1. Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor
      2. Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail
      3. Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor
    3. Trade between India and Japan stood at $ 16.95 billion in the FY 2019-20. The key merchandise includes Petroleum products, textiles, Iron ore, Fish and fish products.
    4.  Important items that India imports from Japan are:
      1. Electronic goods
      2. Automobile parts
      3. Steel products
    5. Recently India, Australia and Japan formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative. The initiative was launched to counter the dominance of China in the Global Supply Chain.
    6. The Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)between India and Japan also has potential to deepen economic relations between the two.
  3. Security:
    1. In 2014, the two countries inked the Memorandum of Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Defence.
    2. In September 2020, India and Japan also inked the Complementary Provision of Inventories and Services Agreement( RPSS) between the armed forces of India and the ‘ Self- Defense Forces ’ of Japan.
    3. India and Japan take part in bilateral and multilateral training including “ Dharma Guardian ” and “ Malabar ” respectively.
  4. Infrastructure: 
    1. Several infrastructure projects are presently underway with the assistance of the Japanese Govt., including the Mumbai- Ahmedabad High- Speed Rail corridor, Dedicated Freight Corridor, Metro projects, and Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project.
    2. Eleven Japan Industrial Townships( JIT) have been established, including Neemrana in Rajasthan and Sri City in Andhra Pradesh hosting the most number of Japanese companies.
  5. Digital Partnership  : India and Japan had inked a “ Digital Partnership Deal” in 2018.
  6. Supporting Startups : India and Japan have also launched a private sector driven fund- of- funds to invest in technology startups in India which has raised USD 100 million so far.
  7. Information Communication and Technology : Both sides also have Cooperation in the field of ICT, in areas like 5G, under- sea cables, telecom, and network security.
  8. Promoting Skill development :
    1. India-Japan MoC signed in 2016 to train 30,000 shop floor leaders over 10 years thereby also contributing to India’s flagship initiatives such as “Skill India” and “Make in India”.
    2. Japanese companies have established 13 Japan-India Institute of Manufacturing (JIM) in India and 5 Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in Indian Engineering Colleges.
  9. Healthcare
    1. In view of the similarities and synergies between the goals and objectives of India’s AYUSHMAN Bharat Programme and Japan’s AHWIN, both sides consulted with each other to identify projects to build the narrative of AHWIN for AYUSHMAN Bharat.
    2. Japan supported India to contain COVID-19 and mitigate its adverse socioeconomic impacts by extending budgetary support.
  10. Disaster Risk Reduction
    1.  An Agreement on joint research in the field of Earthquake Disaster Prevention was inked between Fujita Corporation and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT-R).
  11. S&T Cooperation
    1. Bilateral S&T cooperation was homogenised through anInter-Governmental Agreement inked in 1985.
    2. Recent development – three India- Japan Joint Laboratories in the area of ICT( AI, IoT and Big Data) and inauguration ofDept. of Science and Tech( DST)- Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship Programme for the youth researchers.
  12. Energy
    1. The two sides have launched an Energy Dialogue to promote cooperation in the energy sector in a comprehensive manner.
    2.  In 2015, India and Japan reached a substantive Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. India becomes the first non NPT signed country to do so.
  13. Strategic Relations:
    1. India and Japan are both members of Quad.

Quad: The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States that is maintained by talks between member countries.

Objectives and Future Plans of the Quad Summit 2022 in Tokyo, Japan:

  1. The formation of the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA)was announced by the leaders. This intends to build a faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters.
  2. IPMDA will allow tracking of “dark shipping” and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea, as well as improve partners’ ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries.
  3. The grouping would enhance the sharing of data as a part of the “Quad Satellite Data Portal” that would enhance cooperation among the satellites of the member countries.
  4. The summit welcomed the progress made regarding the J&J vaccine production at the Biological E labs in India under the Quad Vaccine Partnership.

International Relations Prelims Mains: GS 2: UPSC: IAS: IPS: IFS: General studies: PSIR:

Other developments alongside the QUAD Tokyo:

  1. President Biden and PM Modi met alongside and announced a Technology cooperation initiative and investment initiative.
  2. Indo­Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was unveiled by USA, for reassuring the Eastern hemisphere about the U.S.’s focus. This brings along 4 key Pillars:  
    1. Supply­chain resilience.
    2. Clean energy, decarbonisation and infrastructure.
    3. Taxation and anti­corruption.
    4. Fair and resilient trade.

An opportune time for India-Japan relations

  1. Both India and Japan are inquisitive about keeping balance withinside the Indo-Pacific vicinity and for this reason are running collectively toward accomplishing that goal.
  2. China shares sour records with India and Japan. 
  3. China’s upward thrust and muscle flexing has triggered escalation of its border anxiety with India and Japan and for this reason a not unusual place method to address the Dragon is felt necessary. 
  4. India and Japan recently concluded trilateral partnership with Italy to counter China and preserve peace and balance withinside the Indo-Pacific additionally showcases not unusual place floor withinside the strategic sphere among the 2 international locations. 
  5. India and Japan also are tenting for a seat withinside the United Nations Security Council as Permanent Members. Both the international locations are robust advocates of reforms withinside the UN and its associate institutions.

Recent Developments:14th Annual India-Japan Summit

  1. The Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was recently in India on an official visit for the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit.
  2. The Summit took place at the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as India's 75th anniversary of independence.
  3. Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister virtually launched a Japanese 'Zen Garden - Kaizen Academy' at Gujarat's Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA).

Key Highlights of the Summit:

  1. India and Japan set an investment target of “five trillion yen” ($42 billion) in the next five years, the leaders announced after a meeting in New Delhi for the 14th annual summit, where several agreements were signed.
  2. The two sides also exchanged six agreements on cybersecurity, economic partnerships, waste-water management, urban development, a clean energy partnership and an agreement on promoting bamboo-based products from the northeast region.
  3. The “2+2” meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers in the next few months is due to take forward agreements on the strategic partnership .

Way Forward : Incremental engagements and cooperation can benefit both the countries. Japan’s ageing economy can be sustained by India’s young demography. At a time of global geopolitical flux, the two are among the important countries that have taken up the cane to champion freedom, transnational morals and rules, inclusivity, and free and fair trade. Still, their strategic cooperation could potentially be a game- changer in Asia, If Japan and India continue to add concrete security content to their relationship. The emphasis on boosting trade and investment must be balanced with lesser strategic collaboration.

International Relations Prelims Mains: GS 2: UPSC: IAS: IPS: IFS: General studies: PSIR: