Daily Editorial Analysis for 12th September 2022

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Tokyo-Delhi Compact

Gs Paper 2: International Relations

Important for

Mains exam: Relation of India and Japan


The second India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was held in Tokyo on September 8. The dialogue saw an in-depth discussion on all critical challenges to a rules-based global order that increasingly binds the two countries, and it also provides renewed vigour to their special strategic and global partnership.

Why timing of this 2+2 is Important

  • The meeting took place against the backdrop of heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait during which China lobbed five missiles in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, which Japan terms as a serious problem that affects its national security.
  • The 2+2 dialogue also coincided with North Korea passing a new law declaring its irreversible status as a nuclear weapons state.
  • The two nations are marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations

Outcome of this Dialogue

  • India and Japan reiterate their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
    • It highlighted 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.
    • Both countries 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.
  • Both countries will work together for rules-based global order that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
  • A key outcome of this round of talks was the agreement to launch the Joint Service Staff talks between the Japan Joint Staff and the Indian Integrated Defence Staff.
  • This is a significant step towards enhancing cooperation between the three services as well as the Coast Guard on both sides in an integrated manner.
  • They also agreed for further building on existing bilateral and multilateral exercises including “Dharma Guardian” (ground forces), “JIMEX” and “Malabar” (navies), and an earlier decision to conduct the inaugural India-Japan fighter exercise between the two air forces.
    • Both countries agreed that the early conduct of the inaugural fighter exercise will pave the way for much greater cooperation and interoperability between the air forces of the two countries.
    • Keeping in view the aggressive and assertive attitude of China in Asia’s geopolitics, India and Japan are bolstering their military to tackle what it sees as increased security threats.
    • Both countries are increasingly wary of China’s growing military might.
    • In view of this, the Prime Minister of Japan has already promised a “substantial” increase in defence spending. He wants to double Japan’s military budget to 2% of gross domestic product over the next five years.
    • This comes amid worry that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might motivate China to act against the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Role of Modi and Abe in establishing strong ties

  • PM Modi invested considerable personal and political capital in building stronger economic ties with Japan soon after he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
  • After becoming Prime Minister, he gave fresh impetus to efforts to achieve the full potential in bilateral relations.
  • His outreach to Japan, including in the field of defence and security ties, was reciprocated in full measure by the late Shinzo Abe(Former PM of Japan).
  • Modi and Abe laid a strong foundation that has facilitated the task for the latter’s successors(Prime minister Kishida).
    • Current Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida also played an important role in developing bilateral ties in his capacity as the Foreign Minister between 2012-2017.


Relation between two countries are growing faster but there are more areas where greater cooperation is expected which include:

  • 2+2 dialogue is expected to provide thrust to cooperation in defence equipment and technology, covering areas such as Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and Robotics, where Japan has considerable strengths.
  • Another area of potential cooperation is in the manufacturing of drones.
    • Japan’s largest drone manufacturer, ACSL, has already established a joint venture in India with Delhi-based Arc Ventures.
  • Apart from security cooperation, both nations need to work on trade.
    • Both the countries had adopted the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in August 2011.
      • However, India’s trade deficit with Japan has only exacerbated after that. India is seeking a “long overdue” review of its free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan.

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.

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