Relation with Japan


Exchange between Japan and India is said to have begun in the 6th century when Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Indian culture, filtered through Buddhism, has had a great impact on Japanese culture, and this is the source of the Japanese people's sense of closeness to India.

After World War II, in 1949, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru donated two Indian elephants to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. This brought a ray of light into the lives of the Japanese people who still had not recovered from defeat in the war. Japan and India signed a peace treaty and established diplomatic relations on 28th April, 1952. This treaty was one of the first peace treaties Japan signed after the World War II.

Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries 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. Following Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi's visit to India in 1957, Japan started providing yen loans to India in 1958, as the first yen loan aid extended by Japanese government. Since 1986, Japan has become India's largest aid donor, and remains so.

Recent Relations

Prime Minister Yoshiro Moris visit to India in August 2000 provided the momentum to strengthen the Japan-India relationship. Mr. Mori and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided the establishment of "Global Partnership between Japan and India". Since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumis visit to India in April 2005, Japan-India annual summit meetings have been held in respective capitals. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Japan in December 2006, Japan-India relationship was elevated the "Global and Strategic Partnership". Most recently in December 2011, Prime Minister Noda paid a state visit to Delhi and had a summit meeting with Prime Minister Singh. After the meeting, the two Prime Ministers signed a Joint Statement entitled, "Vision for the Enhancement of Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership upon entering the year of 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations."

High Level Visits

In addition to the annual summit meetings, annual Strategic Dialogue at Foreign Minister-level have been held in respective capitals since 2007. The launch of Ministerial Level Economic Dialogue was agreed during Prime Minister Singhs visit to Japan in October 2010

Cooperation in Security Fields

During Prime Minister Singhs visit to Japan in October 2008, two leaders issued "the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India". Furthermore, to advance security cooperation based on the Joint Declaration, Action Plan was issued during Prime Minister Hatoyamas visit to India in December 2009. There are also various frameworks of security dialogue between Japan and India. The Comprehensive Security Dialogue at the level of Joint Secretary / Director General level was set up in 2001 and eight rounds of dialogue have been conducted since then. Annual Subcabinet / Senior Officials 2+2 dialogue, which was agreed to establish in 2009, was held in New Delhi in July 2010.

Maritime Self Defense Force (SDF) joined in the "Malabar 09" which was co-hosted by U.S. and India in April 2009. Defense Minister of India, Mr. Antony visited Japan in November 2011 to hold the Japan-India Defense Ministerial meeting with Mr. Ichikawa, Japanese Defense Minister. During the meeting, the two Ministers decided to carry out bilateral exercise between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy. At the annual summit in December 2011, Prime Minister Noda and Prime Minister Singh affirmed that they would expand cooperation in the area of maritime security, including safety and freedom of navigation.

Between the coast guards, combined exercises on anti-piracy, search & rescue etc. have been conducted since 2000. The both coast guards conducted joint exercise at Chennai in January 2012. Heads of coast guards of both countries visit each other almost every year. The two coast guards exchanged a Memorandum on Cooperation at the occasion of commandant Ishikawa's visit to India in November, 2006.

Economic Relations

The Japan-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) took effect in August 2011, which will eliminate about 94% of the tariffs between Japan and India within 10 years. Negotiation on Japan-India Social Security Agreement was commenced in July 2011. The third round of negotiations was held in February 2012.

India has been the largest recipient of Japanese ODA Loan for the past several years. Delhi Metro is one of the most successful examples of Japanese cooperation through the utilization of ODA. The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) are two symbolic projects of cooperation between Japan and India. Prime Minister Noda announced the intension of the Government of Japan to make available finance totaling 4.5 billion US dollar in the next five years for DMIC project during his visit to India in December 2011.

Japan-India Trade (Yen: billion)

Trade from India to Japan283352472491544348497
Trade from Japan to India329388518723819591792
(source: Japanese government documents)

Japanese private-sector's interest in India is rising, and, currently, about 872 Japanese companies have branches in India. (The figure doubled over the last 3 years.)

Direct Investment from Japan (Yen: billion)

Direct Investment from Japan15.029.859.7178.2542.9344.3241.1
(source: Japanese government documents)

Economic Assistance

Loan: 480.17 billion yen (FY 2010)
Grants: 11.58 billion yen (FY 2010)
Technical Cooperation: 18.55 billion yen (FY 2009)

India-South Korea Relations

India-South Korea relations date back many centuries to the time when the princess of Ayodhya married Kim Suro, the King of Gaya. Their descendants are still known to visit Ayodhya every year to pay homage to their ancestral maternal roots. Buddhism, which originated in India, reached Korea through China and remains a dominant religion on the Peninsula.

Currently, the most prominent links are through numerous academic exchanges between India and South Korea. The Korean Foundation provides scholarships to Indian students who wish to study the sciences and humanities in South Korea. Also, Korean language courses are taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad. In addition to these cultural and social exchanges, strides have also been made in economic, trade and diplomatic ties. This article will look at the developments in Indo-South Korean linkages that have developed thus far, and their future potential.

The most recent overture was the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the ROK, signed between Indian President Pratibha Patil and the President of the Republic of South Korea (ROK) Lee Myung-bak in a summit meet in July this year. The safety of nuclear power plants have been repeatedly questioned post Fukushima, indeed, the Indian public protested against the construction of the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant by French company, Areva. South Korea specializes in the construction sector whether it be plants, housing, roads or ports. President Lee is himself an engineer and was earlier the chairman of the Hyundai Company which is diversified into automobiles, construction and ship-building. It is for this reason that South Korea can confidently provide the best earthquake-resistant and safe plants to India under the auspices of the civilian cooperation agreement. South Korea has developed a world-class civil nuclear power plant which contributes up to 40 per cent of the total electricity of South Korea, the safety standards of which has the IAEA stamp of approval.

The two leaders reached an understanding on Social Security Agreement implementation arrangements, aviation and shipping agreements and the prevention of double taxation. India and South Korea will meet and discuss important strategic issues in the Nuclear Summit 2012 to be held in Seoul, ROK. In addition, both countries also cooperate at the international level on issues of mutual interest such as climate change.

Over 300 Korean companies working in India have made huge foreign direct investments in many sectors of the Indian economy. Presently there are some land acquisition and rehabilitation problems for the establishment of a mega steel power plant in Odisha (Orissa) by the world renowned steel company, POSCO. A strategic partnership has already been signed between South Korea and India in February 2010 which has improved. The CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) is progressing well in trade investment and human exchange and has further potential to improve the Indo-South Korean relationship.

Despite the above developments, however, there is still a significant amount of scope for strategic cooperation between the two countries. South Korea has a long experience of modern ship-building; the shipbuilding industries are very specialized and possess state-of-the-art technologies, such as the Hyundai Ship-building Company. India is an emerging power in South Asia whose strategic maritime location at the head of the Indian being can hardly be ignored. In this regard, therefore, South Korean ship-building technology and expertise can be of great assistance to India for commercial ship-building as well as for defence purposes, such as the construction of aircraft carriers.

Another area of cooperation is in the defence sector, particularly joint military and naval exercises, which would help both countries to modernize their training processes. South Korea has made advancements in anti-guerrilla warfare operating at the Corps of Special Warfare, the knowledge of which can be useful to India in managing terrorism and border road development. India, on its part, is highly skilled in the training of soldiers and army officers. Indian defence institutes such as the National Defence Academy (Pune), Officers’ Training Academy (Chennai), and Indian Military Academy (Dehradun) are recognized centres of excellence and hence have a lot of guidance to offer to South Korea.

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