Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Solving the Indo-Japanese equation


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

In geopolitics, neighbours rarely make great alliances. However, distance does not impede strong partnerships.

In the case of Japan and India, historical bonds nurtured by Buddhism and the Japanese providing the wherewithal to freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose for the Indian National Army, provides for the necessary people-to-people connect.

The Japanese emperor’s recent visit to India is not just historic. In the context of the congruence of threat perception of the two countries, it was the expected announcement to the Asia-Pacific region of a partnership to counter an increasingly belligerent China.

The common threats that both nations face include oil from west Asia traversing sea lanes that the Chinese could interfere with, and territorial disputes. Indians face an increasing Chinese cartographic invasion that encompasses almost the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh. Repeated incursions across Indian perceptions of the line of actual control exacerbate the threat. The Japanese, on the other hand, are faced with Chinese claims on the Senkaku islands.

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