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India-Japan Defence Policy Dialogue

Context:

Recently, the 7th India-Japan Defence Policy Dialogue was co-chaired by Defence Secretary of India and the Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs of Japan in New Delhi.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Highlights of the 7th Dialogue
  2. India’s Relations with Japan
  3. Challenges Related to Defence Cooperation

Highlights of the 7th Dialogue

  • The dialogue is a regular mechanism between India and Japan to discuss defence cooperation.
  • The purpose of the meeting was to discuss various issues related to defence cooperation between the two countries.
  • The countries discussed service-level exercises, regional security, and cooperation in defence equipment and technology.
  • The Japanese Vice Minister presented updates from their recently released National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy.
  • Both countries appreciated the growing cooperation between the services through staff talks and exercises.
  • The inaugural fighter exercise ‘Veer Guardian’ between the Indian Air Force and Japanese Air Self Defence Force was welcomed.
  • The Defence Secretary emphasized the need to deepen collaboration between the respective defence industries.
  • Japanese defence industries were invited to invest in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Both sides agreed to diversify cooperation in new and emerging domains like defence space and cyber.

India’s Relations with Japan

Defence Cooperation:
  • India has a 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Japan
  • Both countries organize bilateral exercises such as JIMEX, Malabar exercise, ‘Veer Guardian’, SHINYUU Maitri, and Dharma Guardian
Common Groupings:
  • Both India and Japan are members of Quad, G20, G-4, and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
  • India-Japan Act East Forum was established in 2017 to provide a platform for collaboration under the rubric of India’s “Act East Policy“ and Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”
Investment and ODA:
  • India has been the largest recipient of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for decades
  • Successful examples of Japanese cooperation through ODA include the Delhi Metro and India’s Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project
  • Japan and India had committed to build a High-Speed Railways in India
Economic Relations:
  • Japan’s bilateral trade with India totaled US$ 20.57 billion during FY 2021-22
  • India was the 18th largest trading partner for Japan, and Japan was the 12th largest trading partner for India in 2020
India-Japan Digital Partnership:
  • Discussion ongoing for the “India-Japan Digital Partnership” to enhance the digital economy through joint projects in the area of IoT, AI, and other emerging technologies
  • Japan is looking to attract more highly skilled Indian IT professionals to contribute to the Japanese ICT sector
Strategic Clean Energy Partnership:
  • For cooperation in areas such as electric vehicles, storage systems including batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, development of solar energy, hydrogen, ammonia, etc.
  • Announced at the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit, along with the India-Japan Digital Partnership.

Challenges Related to Defence Cooperation:

  • China Factor: While India and Japan have strengthened their relationship as a counterbalance to China’s influence, their approaches to dealing with China have differed. India has been more vocal in criticizing China’s actions, while Japan has been more cautious in its approach.
  • Defence Exports: India is looking to export defence equipment to other countries, which could potentially compete with Japan’s own defence exports.
  • Influence of US-China Rivalry: The intensification of Chinese-American rivalry contributes to disturbance of regional security in the Indo-Pacific. This could impact the defence cooperation between India and Japan, as both countries have close ties with the United States.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB


February 2024
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