Indo-Japan Ties Strengthened Despite Beijing’s Annoyance

By Arshdeep Sarao, Epoch Times
June 2, 2013 5:48 pm Last Updated: June 2, 2013 5:48 pm

Undisturbed by the Chinese regime’s evident annoyance, Indo-Japan bilateral relations were strengthened at the conclusion of a three-day summit on May 29 when the two nations pledged to cooperate in ensuring security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made it clear in their joint statement how the two governments are determined to further strengthen their strategic global partnership.

During the summit, Asia’s two largest democracies decided to safeguard oceans by progressively deepening their security cooperation in order to check the maritime threats from China.

Meanwhile, with the inaugural of Indo-Japan Maritime Affairs dialogue in January this year, both countries have been coordinating a series of exchanges between their armed forces. Recently, their army chiefs visited each other’s defense forces to discuss further strengthening of defense ties between the two nations.

A few months ago, the Indian and Japanese naval forces held joint military exercises off the coast of Japan; during the summit the prime ministers agreed to conduct such joint exercises on a regular basis with increased frequency.

The growing cooperation is visualized as a strategy to break what is called China’s string-of-pearls, the network of Chinese military bases along the primary maritime routes surrounding the Indian Ocean, linking China with ports throughout the Middle East and coasts of Africa.

Another significant development in Indo-Japan relations, considering Japan’s reliance on China for critical raw materials, is evident from the memorandum signed between the two governments for cooperation regarding the rare earths industry.

Recognizing nuclear safety as a priority for both governments, the prime ministers showed willingness to accelerate the negotiations of civil nuclear cooperation deal for an early conclusion, while reaffirming their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Abe’s government also offered to supply highly advanced U-2 amphibian-aircraft to India and introduce Japan’s bullet train technology in Mumbai city, and promised to provide financial assistance to India’s Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor project.

Considering all aspects, the Indo-Japan summit proved a success story; not marred by the communist regime’s recent discouraging comments via two different newspapers. The People’s Daily referred to Japan as “petty burglars” on China-related issues, while the Global Times wrote that Japan was trying to “encircle China” with strategic alliances.

The Chinese regime’s discomfort was also reflected in another recent article published in the Global Times that said India would be “cheapening itself” by participating in the enhancement of a US-Japan alliance and becoming their “little partner.”

“If the India-Japan strategic partnership moves to a military alliance, India will face the same risks of war as Japan does. It’s unworthy for India to risk its opportunities for social and economic developments for Japan’s military power dream,” it added.

Brushing off all the prickly comments, the two prime ministers reaffirmed that India and Japan enjoy very close and wide-ranging relations.

“It is not only our spiritual and cultural affinities that bring us together, but also our shared commitment to democracy and international peace. The success of our partnership is vital for the prosperity of our people and indispensable for a future of peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region,” Singh said in his banquet speech.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.