India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

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    The second India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in Tokyo

    Key Takeaways 

    • Rules-based global order: The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a rules-based global order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.
      • They emphasised the need for all countries to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law without resorting to threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo.
    • Strategic goal : They highlighted their commitment to a common strategic goal of achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific, that is inclusive and resilient,based on the rule of law and free from coercion. 
      • They also reiterated their strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality and their full support for the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)” which upholds the principles such as the rule of law, openness, freedom, transparency and inclusiveness.
    • Discussion on issues : The Ministers had a frank and fruitful discussion on the regional and global issues of mutual interests and concerns, particularly those in the Indo-Pacific as well as Ukraine.
    • Defence capabilities:  Both sides expressed their support to work towards enhanced security and defence cooperation.
      • They welcomed the participation of Japan for the first time in the multilateral exercise MILAN and the operationalization of the Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Self-Defence Forces of Japan and the Indian Armed Forces in the exercise.
      • The Ministers expressed their commitment to continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including “Dharma Guardian”, JIMEX and “Malabar.”
      • The Ministers also committed to seek deeper cooperation on HA/DR and response to infectious diseases and pandemics
    • Science and Technology  :They expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation in the areas of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)/Robotics and the Sixth India-Japan Joint Working Groupon Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation and concurred to further identify concrete areas for future cooperation in defence equipment and technology.

    India- Japan Relations 

    • Beginning : The friendship between them has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilization ties dating back to the visit of Indian monk Bodhisena in 752 AD. 
      • In contemporary times, among prominent Indians  associated with Japan were Swami Vivekananda, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore,  JRD Tata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Judge Radha Binod Pal.
    • Diplomatic: They established diplomatic relations in 1952. 
    • In the first decade after diplomatic ties were established, several high-level exchanges took place, including the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to India in 1957.
    • Japan was among the few countries that bailed India out of the balance of payment crisis in 1991.
    • The Act East Forum, established in 2017, aims to provide a platform for India-Japan collaboration under the rubric of India’s “Act East Policy” and Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision”.
    • Projects and Investments:  India and Japan signed four agreements under which Tokyo is to support health care projects funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) scheme in India.
    • The “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP)” supports development projects designed to meet the diverse basic human needs of the people in developing countries.
    • India and Japan also signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) last September for reciprocal provision of supplies and services between their defence forces.
    • Recently, both nations laid out a roadmap for deepening our Special Strategic and Global Partnership in a post-COVID world.
    • Economic and Commercial relations: Economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given  the complementarities that exist between the two Asian economies.
    •  Japan’s  interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India’s large  and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources. 
    • The India Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into  force in August 2011.
    • Japan has been extending bilateral loan and grant assistance to India since 1958,  and is the largest bilateral donor for India
      • India’s primary exports to Japan have been petroleum products, chemicals, elements, compounds, non-metallic mineral ware, fish & fish preparations, metalliferous ores & scrap, clothing & accessories, iron & steel products, textile yarn, fabrics and machinery etc.
      • India’s primary imports from Japan are machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel products, plastic materials, non-ferrous metals, parts of motor vehicles, organic chemicals, manufacturers of metals, etc.
    • Defence: India-Japan Defence and Security partnership has evolved over the years and forms an integral pillar of the bilateral ties. 
    • During Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Japan in October 2008, two leaders issued “the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India”. 
    • The Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services (ACSA) between the Self-Defence Forces of Japan and the armed forces of India signed in 2020 has already been operationalised earlier this year. This paves the way for deeper cooperation between the two militaries. India’s emergence as the fifth-largest as well as the fastest-growing economy in the world will definitely ensure a further quantum leap in strategic ties with Japan.
    • There are also various frameworks of security and defence dialogue between Japan and India including the “2+2” meeting, annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard dialogue.
    • Science & Technology: Bilateral S&T cooperation was formalised through an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in 1985. 
      • India-Japan Digital Partnership (IJDP) was launched during the visit of PM Modi to Japan in October 2018 furthering existing areas of cooperation as well as new initiatives within the scope of cooperation in S&T/ICT, focusing more on “Digital ICT Technologies”
    • Healthcare:
      • India’s AYUSHMAN Bharat Programme and Japan’s ASHWIN, both sides had been consulting with each other to identify projects to build the narrative of AHWIN for AYUSHMAN Bharat.
    • Indian Community in Japan:
      • In recent years, there has been a change in the composition of the Indian community with the arrival of a large number of professionals, including IT professionals and engineers working for Indian and Japanese firms as well as professionals in management, finance, education, and S&T research.
    •  Quad alliance:
      • Both India and Japan have been expanding cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region bilaterally as well as under the framework of the Quad grouping. 
        • Quad is an informal strategic dialogue between India, the USA, Japan and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

    Future Prospects 

    • Both the countries  looked forward to actively deepening multilateral coordination with liaison officers of other countries in the forum for enhanced maritime cooperation. 
    • India looks forward to better cooperation in defence equipment and technology, covering areas such as Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and Robotics, where Japan has considerable strengths. 
    • They looked forward to having dialogues at an early date in areas such as Security Council reform with a view to strengthening the functions of the UN as a whole
     

    Mains Practice Question

    [Q]A stronger India-Japan partnership is good for each other as well as for the Indo-Pacific region and the global order.comment