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India-Japan Cooperation: Promising New Heights

India-Japan Cooperation: Promising New Heights

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Japan proved to be very successful. It brought cooperation between India and Japan in different sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing, transport, clean energy, and bullet train technology. It highlighted the importance of a resurgent Asia in global affairs. With the massive Japanese investment in India to the tune of 3.5 trillion yen ($33.5 billion) in the above mentioned sectors, India will certainly flourish and the cumulative benefit for Japan will be even greater.

As already mentioned, the new projects such as those for high speed bullet trains and smart cities with ultra-modern facilities are the ideal destinations for Japanese investments and expanding cooperation.

In fact, this is not the first time that both nations have cooperated to improve mutual trade and investment which began, although unsuccessfully, when India moved towards liberalisation in the early 1990’s. But due to red tape and a cumbersome legal system in India, Japan’s efforts were abondoned.

Another important aspect of his visit is to counter rising Chinese imperialist-militarist assertions in the region. Recently, China has resorted to aggressive expansion in all directions causing territorial disputes with Japan and South Korea by establishing its ADIZ (Air Defence Identification Zone) last year.

It is against this backdrop that expanding economic cooperation between India and Japan will balance the Chinese posture towards India as well as the other Asian countries. The overall scenario may further improve considerably if India-Japan cooperation expands to include the United States and Australia.

Going forward, as much depends upon India as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Modi will have to see that all bureaucratic hurdles and procedural wrangles that existed under past Indian governments are removed to the maximum level possible so that Japanese investment may easily flow into the country.