General Studies Paper 2
Context: Recently, the 7th India-Japan Defence Policy Dialogue was co-chaired by Defence Secretary of India and the Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs of Japan in New Delhi.
What are the Key Details of Dialogue?
- About:The Defence Policy Dialogue is an institutionalized mechanism between India and Japan to discuss bilateral defence cooperation.
- The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a wide range of issues related to defence cooperation between the two countries.
- Highlights of the 7thDialogue:
- The two countries discussed Service-level exercises and engagements, regional security issues and cooperation in defence equipment & technology.
- The Japanese Vice Minister presented policy updates from their recently released National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy.
- Both countries appreciated the growing cooperation between the Services through Staff talks and exercises.
- They welcomed the conduct of the inaugural fighter exercise Veer Guardian’ ‘between the Indian Air Force and Japanese Air Self Defence Force in January 2023 in Japan.
- The Defence Secretary emphasized that both the countries should aim to deepen collaboration between the respective defence industries,
- Japanese defence industries were invited for investment in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
- Both sides agreed to diversify cooperation in new and emerging domains like defence space and cyber.
How are India’s Relations with Japan?
- Defence Cooperation:Japan is one of the few countries with whom India has 2+2 ministerial dialogue
- India and Japan’s defence forces also organize a series of bilateral exercises such as:
- JIMEX(naval), Malabar exercise (Naval Exercise), ‘Veer Guardian’ and SHINYUU Maitri (Air Force), and Dharma Guardian (Army).
- Common Groupings:
- Both India and Japan are members of Quad,G20 and G-4, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
- India-Japan Act East Forum was established in 2017 which 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 Strategy”.
- Investment and ODA:
- India has been the largest recipient of the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA)Loan for the past decades for.
- Delhi Metro is one of the most successful examples of Japanese cooperation through the utilization of ODA.
- India’s Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC)project is funded by a soft loan provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency.
- Japan and India had committed to build a High-Speed Railways in India.
- Economic Relations: Japan’s bilateral trade with India totaled US$ 20.57 billion during FY 2021-22. India was the 18thlargest trading partner for Japan, and Japan was the 12th largest trading partner for India in 2020.
- India-Japan Digital Partnership:Discussion is going on for the “India-Japan Digital Partnership” with a view to enhancing the digital economy through the promotion of joint projects in the area of IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence)and other emerging technologies.
- Japan is looking forward to attracting more highly skilled Indian IT professionals to contribute to the Japanese ICT sector.
- Strategic Clean Energy Partnership: For cooperation in areas such as electric vehicles, storage systems including batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, development of solar energy, hydrogen, ammonia, etc.
- Along with Digital Partnership, it was also announced at the14th India-Japan Annual Summit
What are the Challenges Related to Defence Cooperation?
- China Factor:While both countries have sought to strengthen their relationship as a counterbalance to China’s influence, their approaches to dealing with China have differed.
- India has been more vocal in criticizing China’s actions, while Japan has been more cautious in its approach.
- Defence Exports: India is looking to export defence equipment to other countries, which could potentially compete with Japan’s own defence exports.
- Influence of US-China Rivalry:The intensification of Chinese-American rivalry contributes to disturbance of regional security in the Indo-Pacific.
- India and Japan are required to transform their military strategy and build on the common interest in preventing the rise of a securing hegemony in the Indo-Pacific (US and China).
- More collaboration and cooperation can prove beneficial to both nations. There is also a huge potential with respect to Make in India.
- Joint ventures could be created by merging Japanese digital technology with Indian raw materials and labour.