India-Japan: 14th Annual Summit- UPSC Current Affairs

India-Japan: 14th Annual Summit

In today’s edition of the Current Affairs Dialog box, we will talk about India-Japan 14th Annual Summit. The topic forms an integral part of International Relations and hence should be studied in detail during the UPSC exam preparation.

For Prelims: 14th Annual India-Japan Summit.

For Mains: Bilateral, Regional, and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

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Probable Question

Examine the potential of India-Japan ties in achieving global peace and prosperity. 

Why in the News?

Recently, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited India to attend the bilateral 14th annual summit.

  • India-Japan is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022.                             

Image Source: Observer Research Foundation

Key Highlights 

14th Annual India-Japan Summit

  • Reaffirmation of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership: Both countries reaffirmed their common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, free from coercion.
  • Exchange of Agreements: Six agreements were exchanged on:
    • Cybersecurity, economic partnerships & wastewater management;
    • Urban development, a clean energy partnership;
    • Promotion of bamboo-based products from the northeast region.
  • Boosting MSMEs Sector: A “roadmap for the competitive partnership” for the MSMEs and the small–scale sector companies was laid down.
  • Promoting Peace in the Indo-Pacific region: Both Countries affirmed the importance of bilateral and plurilateral partnerships (QUAD) among like-minded countries of the Indo-Pacific region to promote peace, security, and prosperity.
  • ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP): India-Japan reiterated their strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality and their full support for the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)”.
  • Ukraine Situation: Both Countries expressed their serious concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications, particularly to the Indo-Pacific region”.
  • Economic Cooperation: 
    • Japan announced a plan to invest 5 trillion yen ($42 billion) in India over five years.
    • Pacts were signed on loans to the tune of Rs 20,400 crore for projects in connectivity, water supply, sewerage, horticulture, healthcare, and biodiversity conservation in different states.
  • On Afghanistan: Both, Countries reaffirmed their intention to collaborate closely to realize peace and stability in Afghanistan and ensure the establishment of a truly representative and inclusive political system.
  • Counter-Terrorism: They also concurred to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in multilateral fora, and to work together on early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the United Nations.
  • UNSC Reforms: Both nations resolved to continue to work closely together for early reform of the UNSC to reflect the contemporary realities of the 21st century.
  • India-Japan Clean Energy Partnership: The launch of the India-Japan Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) was welcomed by both nations for cooperation towards achieving sustainable economic growth, addressing climate change.
  • Rules-based multilateral trading system: India-Japan reaffirmed their commitment to upholding and strengthening the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core.

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Convergence of Interests: India and Japan

  • India-Japan are constituent members of the G-4 grouping.
  • Both countries have faced difficulties in recent times in their relationship with China due to latter confronted policies.
  • India-Japan envisages making the Indo-pacific multipolar, free, open, and inclusive.
  • India and Japan share common ideals like democracy, the rule of law, and human rights, in addition to the prevalence of complementarities that bind their economies.
  • India is a big market for Japanese companies while in turn, Japanese companies bring investment to India boosting infrastructure and employment creation.

Challenges

  • Trade Potential: The trade potential between India and Japan has not realized its potential.
    • For Example, in 2017-18, the bilateral stood at a meagre of $15.71 billion between India-Japan as compared to the Sino-Indian bilateral trade insane period which stood at $84.44 billion in spite of the political tensions.
  • Diverging Interests: India- Japan have divergent interests on economic issues such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
  • Balancing Act between QUAD and BRICS: India is a member of groups like the BRICS and QUAD. 
70th Anniversary: India-Japan Partnership 

Formal relations between Japan and India began in 1952. 

After the Second World War, instead of signing the multilateral San Francisco Peace Treaty, India opted for concluding a bilateral peace treaty with Japan, considering that honor and equality should be ensured for Japan to rejoin the international community.

This became the cornerstone of a long-standing friendship between India-Japan.

India-Japan relationship acquired salience and depth in 2006 when Delhi and Tokyo formed a “Strategic and Global Partnership”. 

Since then, trade, military exercises, and a consensus on a rules-based maritime order have seen the two countries draw closer together.

Useful links for IAS preparation:

Indian Constitution: Why and How? – NCERT Notes UPSCFundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution- NCERT Notes UPSCElection and Representation- NCERT Notes UPSCPopulation: Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition- NCERT Notes UPSC
Criticism of Basic Structure DoctrineReorganization of the StatesFunctions of the Speaker of Lok SabhaArticle 44 and Uniform Civil Code Issue

India-Japan: Various Facets of Cooperation

  • Cultural Link: Buddhism was brought to Japan and, in 752, an Indian monk, Bodhisena, performed the consecration ceremony for the Great Buddha Statue at Todai-ji, which is one of the most important temples in Japan.
  • Economic Cooperation: 
    • Japan is the 5th largest source of FDI; largest supplier of ODA (development partner of India).
    • India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP) was established in 2021 to further promote industrial cooperation between the two countries including in the areas of MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises), manufacturing, and supply chains.
  • Defence Cooperation:
  • In 2014, the two countries signed the Memorandum of Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Defence.
  • In September 2020, India and Japan also signed the Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services Agreement (RPSS) between the armed forces of India and the ‘Self-Defense Forces’ of Japan.
  • India and Japan participate in bilateral and multilateral exercises including “Dharma Guardian” and “Malabar” respectively.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Several infrastructure projects are currently underway with the help of Japanese assistance, including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail corridor, Dedicated Freight Corridor, Metro projects, and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project.
    • Eleven Japan Industrial Townships (JIT) have been established, including Neemrana in Rajasthan and Sri City in Andhra Pradesh hosting the most number of Japanese companies.
  • Digital Partnership: India and Japan had signed a “Digital Partnership” in 2018.
  • Supporting Startups: India and Japan have also launched a private sector driven fund-of-funds to invest in technology startups in India which has raised USD 100 million so far.
  • Information Communication and Technology: Both sides also have Cooperation in the field of ICT, in areas such as 5G, under-sea cables, telecom, and network security.
  • Promoting Skill development: Japan-India Institutes of Manufacturing (JIM) are established by Japanese companies based in India for the training of skilled workers.
Other Institutional Mechanism of Cooperation: India-Japan

“2+2” meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers: It is a mechanism to deepen the strategic partnership.

Quad: India and Japan are members of the Quad along with the USA and Australia.

The Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI): Announced by India in 2019, Japan’s participation as a lead partner on the connectivity pillar of IPOI has been appreciated by India. 

India-Japan Act East Forum: It coordinates developmental projects in Northeastern parts of India in areas of connectivity, forest management, disaster risk reduction, and capacity building.

Way Forward

  • The India-Japan partnership has been described as one of the most rapidly advancing relationships in Asia, also emerged as a significant factor contributing to the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Interests of both India and Japan will be best served if the Indo-Pacific region remains multipolar with no single regional power assuming a preponderant position
  • From an Indian standpoint, Japan—a technological powerhouse with immense financial strength—could fulfilll development needs in various spheres including infrastructure.

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