● Date and Time: May 26, 2022; 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM IST
● Topic: Evolving Japan-India Relations in the 21st Century
● Platform: in person and livestream
○ Hon. CG TAGA Masayuki-san
About the event
In the context of flourishing cooperation between India and Japan across multiple sectors, the Honourable CG’s visit highlights the significance of the Indo-Japanese ties.
One of the major points highlighted by the Japanese CG was the importance of people to people contact that India and Japan must cherish besides the leadership summits and PM to PM talks.
The lecture consisted of three parts: the history of the relations, seventy years of diplomatic relations, and strategic and special global partnership in the 21st century. He reminisced that Japan had a longstanding admiration for India owing to the ancient religious and spiritual linkages both the countries shared. He traced the history of our relations from the ancient Buddhist connect to World War II to when we established diplomatic relations after the Cold War. The trajectory of these relations were never linear but the Hon. CG emphasised the importance of deepening cooperation in the current times in areas of common concern.
In the second part of the lecture, the Hon. CG deliberated on the ups and downs of our diplomatic relations since signing the Treaty of Peace in 1952. From the 1950s to 60s, India and Japan had a favourable exchange in relations. However, during the 1980s, Japan shifted its focus to the Southeast Asian countries and a lull can be noticed in the bilateral ties. Our friendship treaty with the Soviet Union and Japan’s alliance with the US also added to our rocky relations during the Cold war. Further, India’s nuclear tests in 1998 added to the discontent between the two countries. During the 2000s, however, a significant revival can be noticed. Our discussions also led to enhanced cooperation in the nuclear energy sector after this period.
Since then, engagement in infrastructure and technology has been ongoing even at the subnational level. India and Japan cherish robust investment partnerships in multiple areas. The target of 3.5 trillion Yen has been achieved and a further 5 trillion Yen is announced for various sectors. We also coordinate at a security level through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. QUAD is significant in this regard, such that India’s and Japan’s Indo Pacific strategies converge. Cybersecurity and clean energy partnership are other sectors that India and Japan have significant cooperation in.
The lecture was followed by a Q and A session in which the audience engaged in conversation on specific areas of military alliances, how to establish and encourage people-to-people contacts, the need for more educational opportunities and exchanges within the countries and so on. Hon. CG also interacted with the media after his talk.