Evolution of India–Japan Ties: Prospects and Limitations
In this chapter, the author regards the future trajectory of the India–Japan strategic partnership with “cautious optimism.” Employing a levels-of-analysis approach, Pardesi traces the factors that are responsible for the “remarkable transformation” in this bilateral relationship since the end of the Cold War. The rise of China and the rapprochement between the United States and India have driven the two countries together while, at the domestic level, India’s growing economy has led both New Delhi and Tokyo to view each other with great mutual interest. Key decision-makers on both sides, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have influenced the positive trajectory of bilateral relations. This chapter also pinpoints critical factors shaping the nature of cooperation between the two countries today—economics, the nuclear issue, China’s behaviour, and the salience of the United States—and explores avenues for further cooperation. Pardesi suggests India and Japan work together to enhance connectivity between India and Southeast Asia, contribute to stability in Afghanistan and coordinate their approaches in regional multilateral institutions as well as UN peacekeeping operations.