Where India-Japan relations can widen
- Further utilising Japanese official development assistance for strategic purposes – in Northeast India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and in third countries in the Indian Ocean littoral in cooperation with India
- Deepening military interoperability beyond the navies, specifically between expeditionary marine forces and between the air forces
Where differences and complications could remain
- Danger in placing military sales and joint defence production at the centre of the relationship
- Low priority that India and Japan place on each other’s regional security concerns, namely Pakistan and North Korea
- Continued resistance in Japanese politics and public opinion to overt militarisation and resource constraints on the part of India
There are two important avenues of cooperation – first, the utilisation of Japan’s official development assistance to invest in strategic infrastructure and, second, deepening of cooperation between the ground and air forces of the two countries.
This chapter appeared in a book titled “India and Japan: Assessing the Strategic Partnership“, edited by Rajesh Basrur and Sumitha Narayanan Kutty, published by Palgrave Pivot. The book is available for order here.