‘They share common values of commitment to democracy’

The two-day conference on ‘India and Japan: Growing Partnership and Opportunities for Cooperation’ hosted by city-based Centre for Public Policy Research’s Centre for Strategic Studies in collaboration with Chennai’s Consulate-General of Japan concluded here on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the conference on Tuesday, the Wilmar Professor of Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy pointed to the converging national interests of India and Japan and analysed the strategic choices in front of both countries in the context of China’s rise and the United State’s erratic behaviour.

International affairs analyst Kanti Prasad Bajpai of the NUS highlighted soft balancing against China through India-Japan partnership as the most viable strategy for both countries in the foreseeable future.

Hiroko Taniguchi, Deputy Consul-General, said: “A strong India-Japan relation is a global common good because they share common values of commitment to democracy, openness and rule of law.” She reiterated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s idea of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and said she looked forward to a strong partnership with India.

Several international relations experts spoke at the event attended by academia, think tanks and students. Key topics of discussion included the economic and security implications of the Asia-Pacific transformation, India-Japan maritime visions, India-Japan partnerships in the information age, trade and investment.

Key speakers included former Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Air Marshal M. Matheshwaran, president, Peninsula Foundation; H.S. Prabhakar, Professor at the Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; W. Lawrence Prabhakar, Associate Professor of Strategic Studies and International Relations, Department of Political Science, Madras Christian College; Heigo Sato, Professor at Tokyo’s Takushoku University.

*This news story can be also read at The Hindu’s website.