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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid