India-Japan Vs China

  • Rise of China and uncertainty over America’s role in Asia has brought Japan and India closer
  • Japan was the only nation extended public support to India during the Doklam confrontation with China
  • In the aftermath of India’s nuclear tests, Tokyo was at the forefront of the international condemnation and the imposition of collective economic measures against Delhi.
  • But now Japan has come closest to being India’s natural ally in Asia.
Factors that are threatening to unravel the post-war order in Asia.
  • Rapid rise of China: Purposeful military modernisation over the last few decades has given Beijing levers to contest US military dominance over Asia.
  • Growing uncertainty over America’s future role in Asia
Rising China
  • Rising China has dethroned Japan as the number one economic power in Asia.
  • China’s GDP is now five times larger than that of India.
  • Beijing outspends Delhi and Tokyo on defence by more than four times. According to the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies, China’s defence budget ($216 billion) is more than twice that of India ($56 billion) and Japan ($46 billion) put together
Uncertainty over America’s role in Asia
  • President Donald Trump is challenging the two foundations of America’s post-war primacy in Asia —
  • The willingness to act as the market for Asian goods
  • Defending its allies in the region, including Japan.
  • As they cope with China’s assertiveness, India and Japan also worry about the consequences of a potential American retrenchment or a deliberate decision in Washington to cede more space to Beijing in Asia.
  • Delhi and Tokyo also need to insure against wild oscillations in US policy. One way of doing that is to move towards a genuine alliance between India and Japan.
Alliance between India and Japan
  • It can neither replace the American might nor contain China.
  • As Beijing’s neighbours, they have a big stake in a cooperative relationship with Beijing and also a strong incentive to temper some of China’s unilateralism through a regional balance of power system
  • The cooperation between India-Japan is increasing through civil nuclear agreement, high speed railway development, and modernisation of transport infrastructure in the Northeast.
  • Tokyo and Delhi have expanded their maritime security cooperation, agreed to work together in promoting connectivity and infrastructure in third countries in India’s neighbourhood.
Defence partnership?
  • Without a significant defence relationship, the talk of an alliance between India and Japan remains meaningless.
  • Although military exchanges expanded over the last few years, the two sides are far from a credible defence partnership that can shape the regional security architecture in the coming decades.
  • That negotiations on India’s purchase of Japanese amphibious aircraft, US-2i, have been stuck for years underlines part of the problem.
  • It is necessary to overcome the bureaucratic inertia that limits the defence possibilities between India and Japan.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top