News / Asia

India, Japan Pledge to Boost Strategic, Political Ties

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, watches Indian fighter planes flying past as the chief guest at the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Jan. 26, 2014.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, watches Indian fighter planes flying past as the chief guest at the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Jan. 26, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha
The Japanese and Indian prime ministers have expressed their commitment to boost strategic and political ties. The Japanese leader visited New Delhi as the friendship between the two countries gains momentum to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe watched a display of India’s military strength and cultural diversity at Republic Day celebrations in the Indian capital Sunday. He is the first Japanese leader to be the chief guest at the annual ceremony, to which New Delhi traditionally invites countries it is cultivating. 

A day earlier, the two countries pledged to strengthen ties after the Japanese prime minister held talks with Indian leaders.

Abe said relations between the two countries have the “greatest potential of any bilateral relationship in the world.”

Abe also said the two countries have agreed to step up cooperation in the area of maritime security through active dialogue and visits, adding that he expects there will be a further deepening of cooperation in politics and security.

India and Japan have been holding joint naval exercises since 2012.

The commitment on both sides to closer strategic ties comes as Japan and China dispute ownership of islands in the East China Sea, and as concerns increase that Beijing wants to control vital shipping lanes. 

In an interview with an Indian newspaper, Abe said the security environment of the Asia Pacific region is becoming “ever more severe”.

New Delhi, which has a long-running border dispute with China, is also wary of Beijing and its growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. 

A strategic affairs analyst at New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research, Bharat Karnad, says the convergence between India and Japan is driven by their mutual need to counter China. 

“One, of course, is the bellicosity of the Chinese, the identification zone that they have declared in the East Sea and of course in the South China Sea and so on and India’s apprehensions as well on the Himalayan front, they are nibbling away at the border," Karnad said. "That is the common kind of concern, and the need therefore for an organic security set up in Asia, meaning like-minded countries trying to get together to see if they can’t begin in some ways to cooperate and collaborate in limiting China’s strategic options, military options.”

The strategic partnership is being built on a bed of greater economic cooperation, and analyst Karnad says Japan is willing to “put its purse where its mouth is”.

The Japanese prime minister announced a $2 billion loan for expansion of the Delhi Metro, and promised more investment in other infrastructure projects, a critical need for India.

Both countries held talks on the sale and co-production of a sophisticated Japanese search and rescue sea plane to India. They also said that negotiations to conclude an agreement on civil nuclear energy had gained momentum. This will pave the way for Tokyo to invest in India’s nuclear power sector. 

After meeting Abe, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Japan was at the heart of India’s Look East policy and a key economic ally. 

“Anchored in our shared values and interests, the partnership between a strong and economically resurgent Japan and a transforming and rapidly growing India can be an effective force of good for the region,” Singh said.

Abe’s talks in New Delhi follow a series of other high-level visits. The Japanese emperor and empress visited India last month, and the Japanese defense minister earlier this month. Japan and India are Asia’s second and third largest economies, after China.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid