Doklam India-China standoff: Japan throws weight behind India and Bhutan, says no side should try to change status quo by force

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Mapping Doklam, Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

Mains level: India-china and India-Japan relations



  • Two months into the Doklam border standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers, Japan has conveyed its unequivocal support to India and Bhutan through diplomatic channels

Japan’s support to India

  1. Ongoing stand-off can affect the stability of the entire region.
  2. Tokyo, which has had similar territorial disputes with China in the recent past, is of the view that in disputed areas, “all parties involved should not resort to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force
  3. They have lauded the Indian approach that New Delhi will continue to engage in a dialogue through diplomatic channels to find a “mutually acceptable solution”.
  4. Japan’s position has been — overtly critical of the Chinese attempt to “change the status quo.
  5. Japan had difficulties between 2012 and 2014, when ties between China and Japan were frayed by a territorial row over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

India’s role in the dispute

  1. Japan has conveyed that they understand that the area is disputed between China and Bhutan and that both countries recognize the existence of a dispute
  2. Tokyo has also conveyed that India is “involved” in this incident “based on bilateral agreements” with Bhutan.

Concerns of other countries 

  1. US has encouraged both India and China to sit down and have “direct dialogue”
  2. UK has maintained that it is a bilateral issue.
  3. Australia has expressed concern over the possibility of “escalation of tensions” and has urged New Delhi and Beijing to resolve the issue peacefully to avoid “miscalculation” and “misjudgement”.
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