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The Japanese-Indian 2+2 Dialog's Begun: What Could This Mean for the Situation in the Region?

16 5 0

A Japanese delegation headed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defense Taro Kono paid a visit to India between November 20 and December 1, during which talks were held with their Indian counterparts, Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in what was the first round of the 2 2 Ministerial Dialog.

This was the first meeting held in the 2 2 Dialog format in Japanese-Indian relations, and they are now going to be held on a regular basis. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed they would set up this Dialog back during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan in October 2018.

It is worth noting that this was the 13th time leaders of the two countries met (if we are to count all the meetings which took place on the sidelines of various international events). This is an important sign of stability in one of the most remarkable trends in modern regional and world politics — India and Japan are building closer relations.

It is the stability of this trend that stands out against a backdrop of general “fluidity” in both the overall situation in the Indo-Pacific (and worldwide) and in (seemingly) inviolable military and political alliances, such as NATO and the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan. This is in spite of the repetition of words such as “inviolability” and “cornerstone” in official published material.

Japanese-Indian rapprochement is a process that has been documented since the end of the noughties, and the motivation for it is perfectly understandable, as China has risen to become the world’s second largest global economic power. The trend became particularly apparent in early 2014, when India’s current Prime Minister took office, and it has been said that Modi “loves Japan”. Modi’s fondness for Japan was already visible when he served as Chief Minister of Gujarat, an Indian state which is now one of the driving forces of the country’s economic growth.

A number of documents were signed at the end of the last decade, forming a contractual basis to support the two countries’ comprehensive bilateral relations, as well as the extensive “Japan-India Joint Statement”, signed in 2016 by the Prime Ministers during one of Modi’s trips to Japan.

The annual summits that have since taken place have mainly made some clarifications and additions to the positions........

© New Eastern Outlook