News / Economy

Modi to Visit Japan to Cement Defense, Economic Ties

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of accounts for poor Indians in New Delhi, Aug. 28, 2014.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of accounts for poor Indians in New Delhi, Aug. 28, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha

India's prime minister is heading to Japan Saturday for a five-day visit to shore up defense and economic ties. The blossoming relationship between the two Asian countries is partly driven by their mutual need to counterbalance China, with which both have territorial disputes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a broad agenda. He is seeking more Japanese investment in manufacturing and infrastructure. He is also eyeing a breakthrough civil nuclear cooperation pact, which could open the door to India importing nuclear fuel and technology from Japan.
 
China concern

The two countries will discuss an agreement to bolster defense coordination and the possible sale of Japanese amphibious search and rescue planes to the Indian navy. Besides the Japanese prime minister, the Indian leader will meet the Japanese defense minister.
 
Strategic expert Bharat Karnad at New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research says worries about an assertive China are driving them into a closer security partnership.
 
“You have Japan at one end and India at the other in terms of bookending China. It is one way of fencing in China even as both countries continue with their trade and economic relations that they have with Beijing. So that is not at stake. What is that you are building up by way of a hedging strategy this aspect of military cooperation that might give Beijing a second thought should it get too aggressive or too expansive in its policies and ambitions,” said Karnad.
 
India has a long festering border dispute with China and is concerned about being encircled by a string of ports Beijing is building in neighboring countries. Tensions between Japan and China have escalated over disputed islands in the East China Sea.
 
But trade is as much the driving force that has prompted the Indian prime minister to make Japan his first overseas stop outside of South Asia.
 
Trade and investment

Modi is accompanied by a large business delegation. He is looking for Japanese support in building high-speed railways and smart cities that are part of his agenda to take India further into the 21st century.
 
Manoj Joshi at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi says a sense of mutual advantage is bringing Asia’s second- and third-largest economies together. 
 
“Japan is a country with a great deal of high technology, it has got investable resources, it is already playing a huge role in our infrastructure construction," said Joshi. "Since we have a requirement for many, many more times that, so we look at Japan as a good partner from our point of view. Japan is also looking at us because it has been having problems in China, so many Japanese companies are looking to India as kind of hedging their bets with regard to China. So the Japanese see us a huge market.”

In a signal that Japan wants to reduce its dependence on China, the Nikkei daily in Tokyo has reported that the two countries are expected to sign a deal to jointly produce rare earth metals in India, which Tokyo sources from Beijing.
 

FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, June 5, 2014.FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, June 5, 2014.
x
FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, June 5, 2014.
FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, June 5, 2014.

Modi is no stranger to Japan - he visited the country twice when he was chief minister of Gujarat state and met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on both visits.

Bharat Karnad says the well-known rapport between Abe and Modi is expected to boost the relationship.
 
“It is the glue that is going to cement relations. They get along well, they basically see the world in similar terms. Both are nationalists, both are right of center, their values are in sync, their economic thinking is in sync,” said Karnad.
 
Modi is one of three people Prime Minister Abe follows on Twitter. In some Twitter diplomacy before his visit, the Indian leader has Tweeted in Japanese and English, saying “Japan’s friendship with India is time-tested, we are two vibrant democracies committed to advancing peace and democracy in the world.” 

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8905
JPY
USD
120.20
GBP
USD
0.6541
CAD
USD
1.3262
INR
USD
66.242

Rates may not be current.