A Confluence of Two Strategies: The Japan–India Security Partnership in the Indo-Pacific

Part of the Politics of South Asia book series (POSAS)


The author details the drivers, possibilities and limitations of defence ties between India and Japan in this chapter. Jaishankar notes that the primary driver of ties is the shared concern about the implications of China’s rise. Japan’s reframing of its security role and “normalization” of its national security strategy and India’s rising defence and maritime profile in the Indo-Pacific region present opportunities to both governments. Tokyo has become an indispensable partner in the region’s security architecture as per New Delhi’s calculations. The confluence of these two strategies shows great promise. However, the author highlights certain limitations including the danger of overemphasizing defence trade and joint production in this partnership in addition to the structural constraint of India remaining “outside of the United States’ Asian alliance structure.” Jaishankar recommends two important avenues of cooperation—first, the utilization of Japan’s official development assistance to invest in strategic infrastructure and, second, deepening of cooperation between the ground and air forces of the two countries.


Strategic competition Rise of China “Act East” policy Security strategy Military exercises 



The author is grateful to Rajesh Basrur, Anit Mukherjee and Sumitha Narayanan Kutty of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore for support and the opportunity to write this chapter; and to several officers of India ’s Ministry of External Affairs and Japan ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for facilitating research for this chapter.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Foreign PolicyBrookings IndiaNew DelhiIndia

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