India-Japan Brief

24 November 2016

Japan and India constitute two of the oldest democracies in Asia and also stand among Asia’s three biggest economies. It was in the year 1952 that India and Japan signed their first treaty and six years later in 1958, India received its first official development assistance from Japan. However, a major breakthrough in the bilateral ties took place only in the year 2000 when Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiko Mori visited India. The visit witnessed establishment of ‘Global Partnership between India and Japan’. This relationship was elevated to ‘Global and Strategic Partnership’ in 2006 which was later followed by up gradation of the bilateral partnership to the status of ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ in 2014. In December 2015, both Indian and Japanese leaders also laid out the future roadmap of India-Japan ties in a joint statement referred to as ‘Japan and India Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World’. Both the economies also find themselves in a mutually beneficial situation with Japanese economy finding it difficult to sustain economic growth due to its ageing and shrinking population size, whereas India suffers from infrastructural bottlenecks. More importantly, stronger India-Japan alliance also provides impetus to balance and counter the growing Chinese influence and ensure freedom of navigation and multilateralism in the Indo-Pacific. Both the countries also constitute a strong source of mutual support at multilateral level on global issues including each other’s candidature as a permanent member of an expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as well as India’s membership in the four international nuclear export control regimes among many others.