RSTV- The Big Picture : Takeaways from Abe Visit

  • IASbaba
  • October 20, 2017
  • 1
The Big Picture- RSTV
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Takeaways from Abe Visit


TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

In news: It was fourth annual summit between India and China where 15 agreements were signed between India and Japan strengthening strategic partnership and to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-pacific region as china is now increasingly becoming assertive.

The present takeaways are in areas of

  • Defence sector equipment
  • The Asia Africa growth corridor
  • Food culture exchange
  • Research
  • More people to people exchange through language sharing

Japan supports India as it provides natural counter balance to china in the region without raising a hostile posture. It can be said that Chinese hegemony has brought India and Japan close. India and Japan look forward to counter OBOR project but it needs more push in terms of money, diplomatic outreach and planning before anything takes off.

What lacks?

In 2015, the joint statement talked about synergies between India’s Act East policy and Japan’s infrastructure partnership policy. But the bullet train foundation was in 2017. So there needs to be more urgency in the relationship. Also, the much-awaited deal on the purchase of ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft hasn’t been signed yet. The slow pace of India in responding to bilateral agreement concretisation is detrimental to national security.

Restraint by each

Japan has an attractive market in India. Japan is still a hesitant partner. Its trade with china in investments is huge. They have self-imposed constraints post the world wars through their post war time constituency like nuclear or defence area. Japan is trying to break out of those things due to china.

However apart from restraint Japanese actions, there is a hesitation on India’s part in articulating its own role in ascertaining itself in Asia generally and Indian Ocean in particular and certainly in seas of china. India believes in freedom of navigation in South China Sea so there is no reason for Indian navy to not assert that aspect of it.

Security Diamond

The security diamond is a natural coalition of states on Chinese periphery. Japan in east, India in west, Australia in south and US state of Hawai in north. This is the way to go. India and Japan are natural counters to the dominating china. The natural way to tackle is to forge partnership between Asian countries to make China more responsible, less aggressive and more accommodative of other countries’ interest.

However, this arrangement has not been pushed more. There is no need of USA to interfere in Asia. There is a need of security structure which is organic to Asia. The current world order in the Asia pacific was made after WWII. There is nothing natural in nature of a current world order which is dominated by the USA. As China and India rises and Asian countries become more powerful, its only natural that USA power will shrink over the countries.

Bullet train

The bullet train infrastructure between two cities which is competing with the airline in comparison to time line and cost will be monumental for Indian railways. Bullet trains will improve tracks, signalling and this is expected to upgrade the standard of rest of railways as a spillover effect. For this, there is a need of an SPV which will run bullet trains. If it is commercially viable there will be investments in it. The Indian railways and Indian government should defer from making investments and instead focus on making Indian railway infrastructure more safe.


Japan has been not hit by the magnitude of terror as yet or victimised like India has been through cross-border terrorism. But it recognises that terror is a problem and that terror is incubated in certain areas like Pakistan and state uses terror for its strategic objectives.

There is arrangement on intelligence cooperation between two countries but it doesn’t have that much of traction as far as India’s problems are concerned. It is symbolic.

Response of china

China sees it as a normal interaction between two countries. But it does seem to worry when India, Japan and USA come together as a means of containment. In the past during the cold war period, the containment policy was seen against USSR which ultimately led to its demise.

Way forward

More effort towards make in India and skill development should be focused. More focus on other strategic aspects are required to be discussed and followed up. India has been so much hinged onto Pakistan that it forgets to see the remaining issues. This is costing India. India can be a security provider for the region and India does nothing to actualise it. India has the manpower and the Japanese have to technology. There are certain kind of technologies that India has to develop and no one can supply it to India. Mainstream engineering technology can have larger suppliers. For Japan, India can be a beneficial partner as it looks for more manufacturing bases to access markets around the world.

Connecting the dots:

  • Japan is India’s growing strategic partner and India is Japan’s future market. Analyse the present relation between both the nations and suggest way forward for improvement.

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