Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1952, India and Japan have enjoyed cordial relations. In the post World War II period, India’s iron ore helped a great deal Japan’s recovery from the devastation. Starting from 1957, Japan started providing yen loans to India in 1958, as the first yen loan aid extended by Japanese government.
“Global Partnership between Japan and India” was established in the year 2000 which was elevated to “Global and Strategic Partnership” in 2006. In September 2014, the leaders of both nations had a summit meeting. They concurred to upgrade the bilateral relationship to “Special Strategic and Global Partnership.” The two Prime Ministers resolved to transform the Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership into a deep, broad-based and action-oriented partnership, which reflects a broad convergence of their long-term political, economic and strategic goals. As a result, “Japan and India Vision 2025 Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World” was announced – a joint statement that would serve as a guide post for the “new era in Japan-India relations.”
- 1. In 2008, the leaders of both the nations issued “the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India”.
- 2. There are also various frameworks of security and defense dialogue between Japan and India including Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2” meeting), annual Defense Ministerial Dialogue and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard dialogue.
- 3. In 2020, the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Self-Defense Forces of Japan and the Indian Armed Forces (so-called “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” or ACSA) was signed. ACSA came into force in 2021.
- 4. India-Japan participate in comprehensive Tri-Service Exchanges resulting in regular armed forces staff talks between the two countries.
- Indian Navy and JMSDF participate frequently in
- Bilateral exercises such as JIMEX, Bilateral Maritime Exercises and Passage Exercises.
- Multilateral exercises such as MILAN, MALABAR
- Indian Army – JGSDF participates in the bilateral exercise Dharma Guardian annually.
- 2023 saw the inaugural ‘Veer Guardian’ involving precise planning and skilful execution by the air forces of India and Japan.
- 5. In August 2007, when late Mr. Shinzo Abe, the then PM of Japan visited India, he delivered the now-famous “Confluence of the Two Seas” speech — laying the foundation for his concept of Indo-Pacific. Indo-Pacific has now gained global attention due to its strategic significance. Also, the concept of Free and Open Indo-Pacific has now become mainstream and one of the main pillars of India-Japan ties.
- 6. India and Japan also formed the Act East Forum and are engaged in projects in the Northeast, closely watched by China. The two countries also planned joint projects in Maldives and Sri Lanka among others to counter Beijing’s influence.
- 7. Japan’s initiatives on the Indo-Pacific and the Quad have broken the misperception of Asia as being merely Sino-centric. The India-Japan partnership on the Global South might hopefully help overcome the traditional divides between East and West as well as North and South.
The relationship between both countries grew and encompassed issues from civilian nuclear energy to maritime security, bullet trains to quality infrastructure, Act East policy to Indo-Pacific strategy.
India has long backed Japan’s leadership role in Asia and both the nations have an active role to play in deciding the future global order whether it be through their union for reforms in UN Security Council (G4) or in resolving international conflicts.