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Modi victory augurs well for Japan-India ties

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NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide win in national elections will help cement the Japan-India relationship as Asia’s fastest growing and facilitate a military logistics pact to allow access to each other’s bases. The Japan-India entente is a central pillar of U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy for a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” a concept authored by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Modi indeed mirrors Abe’s soft nationalism, market-oriented economics and geopolitical goal to create a web of interlocking strategic partnerships among like-minded Asian countries. Modi’s election triumph represents a fresh mandate for him to reinvent India as a more secure, confident and competitive country, and forge closer ties with natural allies such as Japan.

Faced with a choice between a stable, firm government and a possible retreat to political drift, voters in the world’s largest democracy have returned Modi to power with a thumping majority. His big win has averted a nightmare scenario for Indian democracy — an indecisive election verdict fostering political paralysis.

The Indian vote came after elections in most other countries in Southern Asia. In the past 18 months, elections have brought pro-China communists to power in Nepal and a military-backed party to office in Pakistan, while voters have booted out a quasi-dictator in the Maldives, elected a new government in Bhutan and, in Bangladesh, retained a prime minister who has turned the country into one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

The only country in the region not to go to the polls recently is Sri Lanka, where the Supreme Court forced the president to roll back a coup after he unconstitutionally dismissed the prime minister and........

© The Japan Times