Wednesday, October 19, 2011

India & Japan as One

I think what makes this partnership strong is the fact that both countries hold on to conservative culture & practises. Both have similar mindsets, I disagree with such mindsets but it's working out well for them.

India-Japan relations have undergone a significant and qualitative shift in recentyears, propelled by the successful regular summit level exchanges. From Japan, the thenPrime Ministers Koizumi, Abe and Hatoyama visited India in April 2005, August 2007 andDecember 2009 respectively. From India, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visitedJapan in December 2006, October 2008 and again in October 2010.The establishment of the Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japanin December 2006 elevated relations to a new level.

This Partnership is based on five pillarsof cooperation viz., Political, Defence and Security Cooperation; Comprehensive EconomicPartnership; Science & Technology Initiative; People-to-People exchanges and cooperationin Regional/Multilateral fora. During the visit of PM Abe to India in August 2007, a Roadmapfor New Dimensions to the Strategic and Global Partnership was unveiled. A JointStatement on the Advancement of the Strategic and Global Partnership and a JointDeclaration on Security Cooperation were issued during PM’s visit to Japan from 22-23October 2008.

During Prime Minister Hatoyama’s visit, the two sides released a JointStatement on the New Stage of India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership and an ActionPlan to advance India-Japan Security Cooperation. A Joint Statement on Vision for India -Japan Strategic and Global Partnership in the Next Decade was signed during the AnnualSummit of October 2010 in Japan. These political documents provide the basis for all-rounddevelopment of India-Japan partnership.Leaders of India and Japan meet frequently on the sidelines of international events.

Soon after taking over as Prime Minister of Japan from Dr. Hatoyama, Japan’s PrimeMinister Naoto Kan met with Prime Minister Singh on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Toronto on 27th June 2010. There are a number of official dialogue mechanisms betweenIndia and Japan, covering a range of subjects, including Ministerial-level dialoguemechanisms like Strategic Dialogue between External Affairs Minister and Japan’s ForeignMinister, Policy Dialogue between Commerce and Industries Minister and Japan’s Ministerof Economy, Trade and Industry and Energy Dialogue between Deputy Chairman of thePlanning Commission and the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and industry. AllMinisterial Dialogues were held in New Delhi in the calendar year 2010.

In addition, duringIndian Defence Minister’s visit to Japan in November 2009, the two sides agreed to haveannual exchange of visits at the level of Defence Ministers, under which, Japan’s DefenceMinister Mr. Toshimi Kitazawa visited India in 2010. During the Annual Summit of 2010, ithas been decided to establish a Ministerial-level Economic Dialogue to give strategic andlong-term orientation to the bilateral economic engagement and to coordinate economicissues of cross-cutting nature.

The sharp jump in high-level exchanges has beenaccompanied by more broad-based interaction between parliamentary delegations andprovincial and local governments of both countries.There are several dialogues between India and Japan at senior official level coveringspecific issues of foreign policy, defence and security policy, economic cooperation, urbandevelopment, ICT cooperation, energy cooperation, high technology trade etc.

A 2+2dialogue led by Foreign and Defence Secretaries of India and their Japanese counterpartswas announced during the Annual Summit of 2009 and held its first meeting in New Delhi inJuly 2010.As part of India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership, the two sides havelaunched a Special Economic Partnership Initiative (SEPI), which has several high-visibilityflagship projects like Western Corridor of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) to bepartially funded by Japanese soft ODA loan and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC), whose project development is to be partially funded by Japan.

DMIC is projected to attract foreign investment worth about US$92 billion and will be built around DFC. Aconsortium of Japanese private sector companies is collaborating with the DMICDevelopment Corporation as well as the Governments of the concerned states, indeveloping eco-friendly townships in the DMIC zone using Japan’s best practices.Bilateral economic and commercial relations have vast potential for growth.

TheComprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed by Indian CommerceMinister Mr. Anand Sharma and the then Japanese Foreign Minister Mr. Seiji Maehara on16 February 2011 in Tokyo. The CEPA is one of the most comprehensive of all suchagreements concluded by India in so far as it covers more than 90% of the trade, a vastgamut of services, rules of origin, investment, intellectual property rights, customs and othertrade related issues.According to Japanese statistics, bilateral trade with India reached $5.82 billionduring Jan-April 2011, representing an increase of 26.25% over the corresponding period ofprevious year. Exports of $3.51 billion to India and imports worth $2.31 billion during theperiod from India represented increases of 28.3% and 23.9% respectively.

Japan’s exportsto India mainly included electrical machinery, iron and steel products, chemicals, powergenerating machine, transport equipment, parts of motor vehicles and other flat-rolledproducts. Japanese import commodities included petroleum products, food and liveanimals, metalliferrous ores & scrap, feeding stuff for animals, iron ore, oil-seeds cake andmeal, clothing, iron & steel products and non-metallic mineral ware. Bilateral trade duringCY2010 was $14.68 billion increasing 45.8% over the CY2009.

Japan currently ranks sixth largest in cumulative foreign direct investment flows intoIndia. Japanese companies have made actual investments of US$ 4.63 billion (4% of totalFDI inflows into India in US$) between April 2000 and November 2010. According to latestavailable statistics, a total of 1049 Japanese companies have representative offices in Indiaand 627 have business operations in India.

The sectors attracting Japanese investment areautomobile industry, electrical equipment, trading, service sector (financial & non-financial),and telecommunications. According to JETRO, during Jan-March 2011, India received $289million worth of Japanese FDI which is a decline of 36.3% over the same period. During CY2010, Japan’s FDI was a total of $2.86 billion.Since FY 2003-04, India has been the largest recipient of Japanese OfficialDevelopment Assistance.

Cumulative commitment of Japanese ODA to India upto July2010 is Yen 3.3 trillion. As of March 2011, the total cumulative commitments of JapaneseODA to India reached Yen 3320.3 billion. During FY 2010-11, disbursement of ODAtotaling to 123.8 billion Yen was largest amongst all countries. It accounted for 18.3% ofJapan’s all ODA disbursement during 2010-11.The two sides have launched an Energy Dialogue to promote cooperation in theenergy sector in a comprehensive manner.

The areas of cooperation include oil and naturalgas, coal, electric power, renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and other relevantsectors. The two sides have also decided to exchange views of respective nuclear energypolicy under the Energy Dialogue. In June 2010, the two sides commenced negotiations onan Inter-Governmental Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.Both sides are collaborating for the development of a greenfield IIT at Hyderabad.

The India Cultural Centre in Tokyo was formally inaugurated in September 2009. The ICCRhas set up two Chairs on Indian studies at the University of Tokyo and Ryokoku University,Kyoto. The two sides have agreed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment ofdiplomatic relations between India and Japan in 2012 in a befitting manner. Government ofIndia introduced a visa on arrival scheme for tourists from Japan from 1 January 2010. AMemorandum on Visa Simplification was signed during the Summit of October 2010 tofacilitate visits by nationals of each other.India and Japan share similar positions on major regional and international issues,like the reform of the UN Security Council and the regional architecture in East Asiaincluding East Asia Summit.

The two sides also conduct consultations on emerging issueslike disaster management, climate change, maritime security and nonproliferation anddisarmament.In the wake of the devastation caused by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and thesubsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011 in north-eastern and eastern Japan, letters ofcondolence and sympathy were sent by the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister totheir counterparts in Japan. PM made a statement in Parliament on 14 March expressingIndia’s full solidarity with the people of Japan. Relief material consisting of 25,000 blankets,10,000 bottles of mineral water and 10 tons of high-energy biscuits were sent to Japan.

A46-member Indian Relief and Rehabilitation Team from the National Disaster ManagementAuthority was dispatched to Japan. The highly specialized team carried out relief operationsin the coastal town of Onagawa, which came under the direct impact of tsunami waves.Their work has been much appreciated by the Japanese authorities, local people and theJapanese media.

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