Modi’s Trip to Tokyo: Takeaways for India-Japan Relations

The Diplomat, November 17, 2016

Prakash Panneerselvam, Post Doctoral Associate, ISSSP, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

The DiplomatAfter six years of consultation, India and Japan inked a civil nuclear agreement on the sidelines of their annual summit, this year held in Tokyo. India is the first non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to have signed such a deal with Japan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, welcomed the agreement as a historic step forward to achieve a clean energy partnership.

While the nuclear deal stole headlines, the bilateral annual summit also undertook a detailed assessment of the “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” as outlined in the “India and Japan Vision 2025,” released at last year’s summit. After discussion on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, a substantive joint statement was issued on November 11, 2016. The joint statement put in perspective areas in which India and Japan could work closely, which the statement clearly indicated could encompass not only bilateral concerns but also Indo-Pacific regional issues. The joint statement clearly represents the tectonic shift in India-Japan relationship in four areas: nuclear cooperation, counterterrorism, coordination on regional issues, and defense industry cooperation.

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