In view of China’s growing influence in South Asia, India and Japan have started considering plans to work together in countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. This can be seen as a symbol of the strengthening alliance between India and Japan for their strategic interests against China’s expansionist policy. Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said on Friday that the two countries have started working on practical aspects of working in third countries. He said, ‘We have done something similar in Sri Lanka.’
Jaishankar said that India and Japan have recently signed an agreement on military cooperation that reflects both countries’ thinking on the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The agreement will strengthen security and stability in Asia. The External Affairs Minister was speaking at a conference organized by the Industry Chamber FICCI (FICCI) on India-Japan relations.
Jaishankar Points Towards China
He said that the big and important countries of Asia should unite as it would not be of interest to end their individual energy by being suspicious of each other. The Foreign Minister’s statement comes at a time when tensions between two of Asia’s biggest forces, India and China, have been on the border for the past six months. So S. Jaishankar’s statement is being seen as a call to China.
He said, “If we want to give Asia a more advanced position in global politics, it is important for all countries, especially big and important countries, that we all join together.” If we continue to use our power against each other instead of using it positively, it will not promote the interests of Asia.’
Discussion On Working Together In Third Countries Begins
Speaking on the new phase of India-Japan relations, Jaishankar said that the two countries are now thinking of working together in third countries, although it is still in the initial stage.
He said, ‘We have started discussing working in third countries. Now we are also considering to make practical plans for working in third countries. We have done something in Sri Lanka.’ He further said, ‘We are trying to find out if we can work in Bangladesh and Myanmar today and with close cooperation and coordination. I think this will bring our relationship to a different level.’
The Foreign Minister said that India and Japan have the opportunity to work in the far eastern region of Russia and the island countries of the Pacific Ocean. He said, ‘If thought a little far, then I can give people two issues to think about. We have to look at the areas where we can work together.
First, the possibility of economic cooperation in Russia’s Far East because India has shown great interest in its involvement in the economic projects there. He said the second option is Pacific Island Countries where India is strengthening its development partnership and political reach.
The India-Japan Relationship Increased By Leaps And Bounds
On the agreement between India and Japan on military cooperation, the Foreign Minister said that this is a practical glimpse of the ability of the two countries to work together. “I am confident that this is very important from both the strategy of the two countries regarding the Indo-Pacific region and from both the security and stability of Asia,” he said.
Keep in mind that this historic agreement between India and Japan was reached on 9 September. Under this, the armies of the two countries will ensure access to each other’s military sites for cooperation.
Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said that relations between India and Japan have grown manifold over the years. He said that the thinking of both countries is very similar to regional and global strategic issues. He also referred to cooperation between the two countries at the Quad, ASEAN, and East Asia Summit.