Growing India-Japan relations

In the last two months, there have been several high level Japanese visitors to India. In November there took place the first ever visit by an Emperor and Empress of Japan to India. In early January, the Japanese Defence Minister visited Delhi. This was followed by the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was also the Chief Guest at the Republic Day ceremonies. These visits signify a growing momentum in India-Japan relations.

India has for many decades been a major recipient of Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), and Japanese collaboration has been visible in areas like automobiles (Maruti-Suzuki, Honda Motors, etc) and in notable infrastructure projects like the Delhi Metro.

During the Cold War, India had a strong relationship with the Soviet Union and a major role in the Non-Aligned Movement, while Japan had been a major ally of the US. This had prevented the development of political and strategic relations between India and Japan. India’s testing of a nuclear weapon in the late 1990s also alarmed Japan, which is the only country in the world which was the victim of atom bombs. However, over the last decade, political relations between India and Japan have been developing steadily. In 2006, the governments of both countries agreed upon a “strategic and global partnership”. Very significantly, military ties have been on the increase. India is the world’s largest arms importer, while Japan, despite having a Constitution that limits its offensive capability, has the world’s sixth largest military budget and the largest naval fleet in Asia. India and Japan have started conducting joint naval exercises since 2012. The proposal for the sale of the sophisticated Japanese US-2 amphibious aircraft to India is also under active consideration.

Just like India participates in a trilateral strategic “dialogue” with Russia and China (RIC), India has since 2011 started participating in a trilateral strategic dialogue with the US and Japan also. From talking mainly about “shared values” as two “democracies”, India and Japan have started talking about protecting their “shared interests”. As two countries that import most of the oil they need from West Asia and other parts of the world, both India and Japan have emphasized freedom of maritime navigation and keeping the sea lanes open. In the latest visit by the Japanese PM, India agreed to issue a joint statement with Japan which called on the freedom of overflight and protecting the rights of civil aviation. This was clearly directed against China which had recently declared its own Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) under which it claimed the right to intercept aircraft under certain conditions which come into this air zone.

India is stepping up its relations with Japan at the same time that it is stepping up its relations with China. However, there are many unresolved tensions in India’s relations with China and in Japan’s relations with China, while there are far fewer such problems in the relations between India and Japan. This makes it appear that the growth in India-Japan relations is directed against China. There is some truth in this. However, the Indian state is not keen to have its growing relationship with Japan perceived by China as hostile activity, and wants to keep its strategic options open. It has not shown interest, for example, in a 4-way strategic alliance proposed by Japan involving the US, Japan, Australia and India – something which China sees as an attempt to encircle it.

While there is a growing political and strategic angle to recent India-Japan relations, it is clear that the Indian state is very interested in Japanese investment and Japanese technology in particular. While the Indian state has declared that it wants to invest $1 trillion for infrastructure development alone, so far (since 2000) Japan has invested about $15 billion, or about 7% of the total foreign direct investment in India. About 1800 Japanese companies have investments in India in sectors like infrastructure and logistics, IT, pharmaceuticals and automobiles. Japan is committed to investing in the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project, but so far the pace of work on this project has been slow. Annual trade between India and Japan currently amounts to less than $20 billion, which is considerably less than the trade between India and China and far less than the trade between Japan and China. There has not been a significant spurt in trade even after the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed in 2011.

Another area where the two countries have not been able to clinch a major agreement is in the area of civilian nuclear cooperation, although discussions are underway. Nevertheless, it is clear that in the plans of the Indian bourgeoisie for rapid economic growth, the role of Japan in providing capital and technology looms very large.

Both the Indian and the Japanese states claim that theirs is a unique relationship which has no problems, either political or ideological, and which is not directed against any other country. However, this represents a coming together of one power (India) which is seeking to expand its economic and political reach globally, and another a country with a highly developed economy and technological capabilities, which is seeking to be politically more assertive and to break out of the constraints imposed on its military capacity and ambitions at the end of World War II. There is a definite danger in the various “strategic partnerships” combined with arms trading and joint military exercises that are unfolding in the world at the current time, in which the Indian state is an active player. History shows that both world wars of the last century were preceded by just such kind of alliance-building and shifting alliances. The working class and people of the world need to be vigilant about these kinds of alliances and the real purpose that they serve.


Share Everywhere

Against Imperialist War    Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)    Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)    Feb 16-28 2014    World/Geopolitics    Economy     History    War & Peace    


8 Jan General Strike

Call of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee

The all India general strike has been called to resolutely oppose the course of enriching the capitalist minority by impoverishing the toiling majority. It has been called to assert the rights that belong to workers, peasants and other toiling people who create the wealth of India.

Hum Hain Iske Malik! Hindostan Humara!

Election manifesto of a CGPI supported candidate for Lok SabhaParties of the capitalist class claim that there is no alternative to the program of globalisation,liberalisation and privatisation. The truth is that there IS an alternative.The alternative is to reorient the economy to fulfil people’s needs instead of fulfilling capitalist greed. This is the program for the Navnirman of India.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

5th Congress DocumentThe Report to the Fifth Congress of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, presented by Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of the CGPI, on behalf of its Central Committee, was discussed and adopted by the Fifth Congress of the CGPI, held in November 2016. By decision of the Fifth Congress, this report has been edited for publication.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Click to Download PDFThe first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

These Elections are a FarceInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Manifesto 2014Unite around the program to reconstitute the Indian Republic and reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all!

There is growing realisation among workers, peasants and other self-employed people that the program of liberalisation and privatisation only serves to enrich an exploiting minority at their expense. Mass resistance is growing to this anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-national program.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)