India-Japan Cyber Security Cooperation
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Global Groupings; International relations
In News: India and Japan finalised an ambitious agreement on cyber-security to boost cooperation on 5G technology, critical information infrastructure and Artificial Intelligence, and the two countries pledged to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific with diversified supply chains.
- The two countries also pledged to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific with diversified supply chains.
- The proposed cyber-security agreement will promote cooperation in capacity building, research and development.
The Cybersecurity Pact
Highlighted the need for robust and resilient digital and cyber systems and in this context, welcomed the finalisation of the text of the cyber-security agreement.
- The agreement promotes cooperation in capacity building, research and development, security and resilience in the areas of Critical Information Infrastructure, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others.
- The announcement is expected to draw the attention of the stakeholders in the Indian 5G sector as it gets ready to open up for international operators and especially since there is lack of clarity on possible participation of Chinese technology majors in the 5G arena.
- The two sides will also share information on countering cyber-security threats and develop joint mechanisms to mitigate threats to information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.
- The two sides will also cooperate on cyber-security at international bodies such as the UN.
- It will build on an existing dialogue with Japan at a time when both countries face challenges from hacking and other threats emanating from countries such as China and North Korea. The problems faced by Hitachi Payment Services in 2016, when malware caused the breach of financial data and comprised the data of 3.2 million debit cards in India, is one example that shows the challenge of cyber-security is a joint one and can only be tackled through joint collaboration.
- Covers critical information infrastructure, including infrastructure for banks and payment systems, telecommunications and internet, nuclear reactors and energy transmission systems, transport systems such as air traffic control, and water supply systems. These are all essential for the functioning of the economy, polity and society.
On the Indo-Pacific region
The two Ministers also exchanged ideas on regional and global issues of “mutual interest and agreed that the strong and enduring partnership between the two countries will play a pivotal role in overcoming challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
- Reiterated that the Indo-Pacific region has become more important in the current global circumstances, and reaffirmed similarities in their vision.
- The ministers emphasised that a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region must be premised on diversified and resilient supply chains; and in this context, welcomed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries.
- Reaffirming the similarities in their respective Indo-Pacific visions, that are based on rule of law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Japanese side agreed to be the lead partner in the connectivity pillar of the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) and jointly take both countries’ respective visions for the Indo-Pacific forward
The Japanese Foreign Minister highlighted the 50 billion Yen emergency assistance loan and a 1 billion Yen grant for provision of medical support to India that will help India fight COVID-19. He also raised the issue of abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea and asked for early resolution of the issue. Mr. Jaishankar’s conveyed India’s support to finding a closure to the issue.
Value add points: Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI)
- Launched by: Indian Prime Minister at the East Asia Summit (2019).
- Focus: Maritime Security, Maritime Ecology, Maritime Resources, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Maritime Transport, etc.
Geo-strategic significance of Indian Ocean:
- Huge resources: The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is the greatest maritime-littoral space that has the largest concentration of population, resources, developing economies, congested sea lanes, and contested territorial spaces.
- Choke points: The Indian Ocean is home to many choke points, such as the Straits of Hormuz, Straits of Malacca, Lombok and the Sunda Straits. Any disruption in traffic flow through these points can have disastrous consequences.
- Muslim population: The region is home to most of the world’s Muslim population as well as India, one of the world’s likely “rising powers.”
- Nuclear weapon states: The Indian Ocean also is home to the world’s two newest nuclear weapons states, India and Pakistan, as well as Iran, which most observers believe has a robust program to acquire nuclear weapon.
- Communication: The Indian Ocean is home to important SLOCs and maritime choke points. A large volume of international long haul maritime cargo from the Persian Gulf, Africa and Europe transits through this ocean.
Economic significance of Indian Ocean:
- Fisheries: The people of Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Maldives, and Sri Lanka get more than half of the animal protein in their diets from fish.
- Mineral resources: Indian Ocean is rising and strengthening because its littoral states possess more than 2/3 of world’s oil reserves and roughly 35% of world’s gas reserves, 60% of Uranium, 40% of gold and 80% of all diamond deposits. Indian Ocean is also important because of the industrial raw materials it possesses including lithium, nickel, cobalt, tin, manganese, phosphate etc
- Offshore oil: Forty per cent of the world’s offshore oil production takes place in the Indian Ocean basin
Connecting the Dots:
- The quadrilateral posturing by India, the US, Japan and Australia in the Indo-Pacific is critical to counter the aggression of China in the region. Comment.
- How are strategic alliances taking shape in the Indo-Pacific region? What are the underlying factors of the evolving alliances? Examine.