P K Sundaram
Singh and Abe May 2013
The emerging India-Japan relationship has been met with extreme reactions – from enthusiasm and protests in India and Japan, to concern in China. This new “strategic partnership,” and particularly the nuclear cooperation under negotiation, does not portend well for Asia. P K Sundaram, a strong advocate of better relations between the people of India and Japan, tells us why.
Strong ties between India and Japan can be seen as a pre-requisite for the emergence of Asia and could, in the context of a broader Asian regionalism, provide a way out of the morass created by a 20th century dominated by the West: militarism and wars, ecological crises and growth-obssessed economies. However, the current architecture of the bilateral relationship is centered on increased joint military initiatives and negotiations of civil nuclear cooperation and partnership for corporate-centric economic growth in India that is unleashing horror on its rural poor and ruining its fragile ecosystems. In particular, absent a change in course, it will fuel an anachronistic drive for nuclear energy in India, which is being imposed by the government through brutal repression amid massive peaceful protests by its farmers, fishermen and citizens.
Contours of the partnership
The Indian PM's visit to Tokyo last in late May 2013 was part of a decade-long “strategic and global partnership” between India and Japan. Excepting 2012, the Prime Ministers of the two countries have met every year since 2006 and Japan is the only partner with whom India has a consistent 2+2 dialogue between the Foreign and Defence Secretaries. The US-India-Japan trilateral track-2 strategic dialogue shortly preceded the Indian PM's visit. The current framework of India-Japan relations has four major impications:
1) Regional balance and stability in Asia: READ MORE