Foreign Policy Watch: India-Japan

India-Japan friendship can help global peace, prosperity


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Paper 2- India-Japan relations


The year 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India.

Historical background of India-Japan relationship

  • We have a long history of people-to-people exchanges that can be traced back to the sixth century.
  • Buddhism was brought to Japan and, in 752.
  • During Meiji Restoration in the late 19th Century — Japan needed natural resources to modernise its industry.
  • Many Japanese travelled to India to purchase cotton, iron ore, etc.
  • Formal relations between Japan and India began in 1952.
  • After the Second World War, instead of signing the multilateral San Francisco Peace Treaty, India opted for concluding a bilateral peace treaty with Japan, considering that honour and equality should be ensured for Japan to rejoin the international community.
  • But even before the establishment of diplomatic relations, the goodwill between the people of the two countries was deeply rooted through business, academic and cultural exchanges.
  • After 70 years of multi-layered exchanges, the relationship between our two countries grew into a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”. 

Future possibilities

[1] As democratic countries, contribute to global peace and prosperity

  • As democratic countries in Asia, India and Japan can cooperate to contribute to global peace and prosperity.
  • We share political, economic and strategic interests based on the firm foundations of common values and traditions.
  • We are continuing our efforts to build a rules-based free and open international order.

[2] Cooperation in security

  • There are a plethora of fields that we can cooperate in security issues including cyber security, outer space and economic security.

[3] Augmenting economic relations

  •  For long, Japan has been the largest ODA (Official Development Assistance) donor to India.
  • One of the most recent and ongoing examples of our collaboration is the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project.
  • Japan is also one of the largest investors in India.
  • Both countries have also promoted economic cooperation in other countries to enhance social infrastructure and connectivity.
  • Our economic partnership can further strengthen the economy of the Indo-Pacific, as well as the world economy.

[4] Cultural exchange

  • Cultural exchanges including literature, movies, music, sports and academics are essential for our relations, enabling a better understanding.

Consider the question “The year 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India. The future offers enormous possibilities for the partnership. In context of this, examine the future possibilities the two countries can explore.” 


India-Japan ties will continue to flourish. Our long history substantiates that.

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Meiji Restoration in Japan

  • In Japanese history, the political revolution in 1868 that brought about the final demise of the Tokugawa shogunate (military government)—thus ending the Edo (Tokugawa) period (1603–1867)—and, at least nominally, returned control of the country to direct imperial rule under Mutsuhito (the emperor Meiji).
  • In a wider context, however, the Meiji Restoration of 1868 came to be identified with the subsequent era of major political, economic, and social change—the Meiji period (1868–1912)—that brought about the modernization and Westernization of the country.

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