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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8837
JPY
USD
117.92
GBP
USD
0.6608
CAD
USD
1.2531
INR
USD
61.900

Rates may not be current.