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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

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
0.8930
JPY
USD
117.98
GBP
USD
0.6673
CAD
USD
1.2445
INR
USD
61.498

Rates may not be current.