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India-Japan Relations

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Bilateral Relations of India


Source: TH, TOI

Context: Japan’s Prime Minister recently visited India


Major Initiatives announced during the visit:

  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP): It is aimed at curbing China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The key initiatives of the strategy include promoting respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, opposing unilateral changes by China through force, and improving cooperation to address global challenges.
    • Japan will focus on Southeast Asia, South Asia (particularly Northeast India), and the Pacific Islands.
    • Japan will promote the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept
    • It will assist in developing maritime law enforcement capabilities of countries to free oceans from geopolitical risks.
    • Japan’s concept of FOIP is complementary to India’s concept of the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)
    • India and Japan will assume the presidencies of G20 and G7 this year respectively.


Other major dimensions of India-Japan Relations are:

Dimensions of India-Japan RelationsExamples
Shared values·        Democracy, Freedom and Rule of Law


Defence and Security Cooperation·        India and Japan Vision 2025: To work together for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world.

·        Relationship elevated to Special Strategic and Global Partnership (2014)

·        “2+2” Dialogue

·        Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement with India

·        Inclusive and Rule-based International order in Indo-pacific

·        FOIP (see description above)

·        Military exercise: Dharma Guardian (army), Veer Guardian (Air Force), MILAN, JIMEX (Navy) and Malabar respectively.

Strengthening India’s Act East Policy·        Japan is supporting strategic connectivity linking South Asia to Southeast Asia through the synergy between the ”Act East” policy and ”Partnership for Quality Infrastructure.”
Economic Cooperation·        Japanese help during India’s BOP crisis in 1991.

·        Bilateral trade: Over US $ 20 billion (2022)

·        Comprehensive and Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) since 2011

·        Industries Competitiveness Partnership

·        Japan was the 4th largest investor in India in FY2020.

Culture·        Buddhism

·        Healthcare: Narrative of AHWIN (Japan’s) for AYUSHMAN Bharat

Investment and ODA·        India has been the largest recipient of the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for the past decades. E.g., Delhi Metro, Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and High-Speed Railways in India
Global Partnership·        Both are members of G4, Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, Supply chain resilience initiatives, QUAD
Space·        LUPEX Mission (India’s lunar lander and Japanese rover will explore the moon)
Nuclear Cooperation·        India-Japan Nuclear Deal 2016 will help India build the six nuclear reactors in southern India
Digital Infrastructure Cooperation·        Cooperation in promoting joint projects for digital transformation in various fields like 5G, Open RAN, Telecom Network Security, submarine cable systems, and Quantum Communications.
Challenges·        Climate change and WTO talks ( Japan siding with developed countries); Japan’s frosty relations with Russia (Kuril Island dispute)
ConclusionRelations between two power can greatly support stability in the world. Also, Japan can help in India’s rise e.g. India’s quest to become a global semiconductor Chip Manufacturing hub


Insta Links



Mains Links

The India-Japan relationship is facing challenges due to the changing global geopolitical scenario. Analyse the challenges and suggest measures to address them. (250 Words)


Prelims Links

Consider the following countries: ( UPSC 2018)

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. India
  5. Japan
  6. USA

Which of the above are among the ‘free-trade partners’ of ASEAN?

(a) 1, 2, 4 and 5
(b) 3, 4, 5 and 6
(c) 1, 3, 4 and 5
(d) 2, 3, 4 and 6


Ans: C