Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • The Govt. of Japan has committed Official Development Assistance loan of an amount of JPY50 billion (approx. Rs. 3,500 crore) for the COVID-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support.
  • This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 and to prepare the health system to manage future epidemics and also to improve the resilience of India’s health systems against infectious diseases.
  • In addition, Notes were also exchanged for Grant Assistance of an amount of JPY 1 billion (= approx. Rs. 70 crore) from Government of Japan.
  • This Grant-in-aid from Government of Japan is for providing medical equipment to strengthen the public health and medical system in India.
  • This further consolidates and strengthens the Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan.

India – Japan Relations

  • Exchange between Japan and India is said to have begun in the 6th century when Buddhism was introduced to Japan, which spread indirectly from India to Japan, via China and Korea.
  • India and Japan, two of the largest and oldest democracies in Asia, having a high degree of congruence of political, economic and strategic interests, view each other as partners that have responsibility for, and are capable of, responding to global and regional challenges.
  • Post Japan’s defeat in World War-II, a relatively well-known result of the two nations’ was in 1949, when India sent the Tokyo Zoo two elephants to cheer the spirits of the defeated Japanese empire.
  • Japan and India signed a peace treaty and established diplomatic relations in 1950s.
  • The British occupiers of India and Japan were enemies during World War II, but political relations between the two nations have remained warm since India’s independence.
  • Japanese companies, such as Yamaha, Sony, Toyota, and Honda have manufacturing facilities in India, and with the growth of the Indian economy, India is a big market for Japanese firms.
  • In 2006, India culminated in the signing of the “Joint Statement Towards Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership”.
  • Japan has helped finance many infrastructure projects in India, most notably the Delhi Metro system.
  • In 2016, India and Japan signed the “Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy”, a landmark civil nuclear agreement, under which Japan will supply nuclear reactors, fuel and technology to India. (India is the only non-signatory of NPT to receive an exemption from Japan.)
  • India and Japan have shared interests in maintaining the security of sea-lanes in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, and in co-operation for fighting international crime, terrorism, piracy and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • The two nations have frequently held joint military exercises and co-operate on technology.
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