(Japan MOFA) Japan-India Relations

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August 22, 2012 by Water Wisdom

India flag Japan-India Relations Japan flag

July 2012

Exchange between Japan and India is said to have begun in the 6th century when Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Indian culture, filtered through Buddhism, has had a great impact on Japanese culture, and this is the source of the Japanese people’s sense of closeness to India.

After World War II, in 1949, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru donated two Indian elephants to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. This brought a ray of light into the lives of the Japanese people who still had not recovered from defeat in the war. Japan and India signed a peace treaty and established diplomatic relations on 28th April, 1952. This treaty was one of the first peace treaties Japan signed after the World War II.

Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have enjoyed cordial relations. In the post World War II period, India’s iron ore helped a great deal Japan’s recovery from the devastation. Following Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi’s visit to India in 1957, Japan started providing yen loans to India in 1958, as the first yen loan aid extended by Japanese government. Since 1986, Japan has become India’s largest aid donor, and remains so.

Recent Relations

Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s visit to India in August 2000 provided the momentum to strengthen the Japan-India relationship. Mr. Mori and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided the establishment of “Global Partnership between Japan and India”. Since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to India in April 2005, Japan-India annual summit meetings have been held in respective capitals. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Japan in December 2006, Japan-India relationship was elevated the “Global and Strategic Partnership”. Most recently in December 2011, Prime Minister Noda paid a state visit to Delhi and had a summit meeting with Prime Minister Singh. After the meeting, the two Prime Ministers signed a Joint Statement entitled, “Vision for the Enhancement of Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership upon entering the year of 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations.”

High Level Visits

In addition to the annual summit meetings, annual Strategic Dialogue at Foreign Minister-level have been held in respective capitals since 2007. The launch of Ministerial Level Economic Dialogue was agreed during Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Japan in October 2010.

Cooperation in Security Fields

During Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Japan in October 2008, two leaders issued “the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India”. Furthermore, to advance security cooperation based on the Joint Declaration, Action Plan was issued during Prime Minister Hatoyama’s visit to India in December 2009. There are also various frameworks of security dialogue between Japan and India. The Comprehensive Security Dialogue at the level of Joint Secretary / Director General level was set up in 2001 and eight rounds of dialogue have been conducted since then. Annual Subcabinet / Senior Officials 2+2 dialogue, which was agreed to establish in 2009, was held in New Delhi in July 2010.

Maritime Self Defense Force (SDF) joined in the “Malabar 09” which was co-hosted by U.S. and India in April 2009. Defense Minister of India, Mr. Antony visited Japan in November 2011 to hold the Japan-India Defense Ministerial meeting with Mr. Ichikawa, Japanese Defense Minister. During the meeting, the two Ministers decided to carry out bilateral exercise between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy. At the annual summit in December 2011, Prime Minister Noda and Prime Minister Singh affirmed that they would expand cooperation in the area of maritime security, including safety and freedom of navigation.

Between the coast guards, combined exercises on anti-piracy, search & rescue etc. have been conducted since 2000. The both coast guards conducted joint exercise at Chennai in January 2012. Heads of coast guards of both countries visit each other almost every year. The two coast guards exchanged a Memorandum on Cooperation at the occasion of commandant Ishikawa’s visit to India in November, 2006.

Economic Relations

The Japan-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) took effect in August 2011, which will eliminate about 94% of the tariffs between Japan and India within 10 years. Negotiation on Japan-India Social Security Agreement was commenced in July 2011. The third round of negotiations was held in February 2012.

India has been the largest recipient of Japanese ODA Loan for the past several years. Delhi Metro is one of the most successful examples of Japanese cooperation through the utilization of ODA. The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) are two symbolic projects of cooperation between Japan and India. Prime Minister Noda announced the intension of the Government of Japan to make available finance totaling 4.5 billion US dollar in the next five years for DMIC project during his visit to India in December 2011.

Japan-India Trade (Yen: billion)

Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Trade from India to Japan 283 352 472 491 544 348 497
Trade from Japan to India 329 388 518 723 819 591 792

(source: Japanese government documents)

Japanese private-sector’s interest in India is rising, and, currently, about 872 Japanese companies have branches in India. (The figure doubled over the last 3 years.)

Direct Investment from Japan (Yen: billion)

Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Direct Investment from Japan 15.0 29.8 59.7 178.2 542.9 344.3 241.1

(source: Japanese government documents)

Economic Assistance

  • Loan: 480.17 billion yen (FY 2010)
  • Grants: 11.58 billion yen (FY 2010)
  • Technical Cooperation: 18.55 billion yen (FY 2009)

Overview of Japan’s ODA to India (June 2011) [PDF:289KB]Acrobat

Cultural Relations

Both governments held “Japan-India Exchange Year 2007” both in Japan and in India to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Agreement.

The year 2012 warks the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and India.

Number of Residents

Number of Japanese nationals residing in India: 4,501 (as of October, 2010)
Number of Indian nationals residing in Japan: 22,497 (as of December, 2010)

Bilateral Treaties and Agreements

  • Treaty of Peace (1952)
  • Agreement for Air Service (1956)
  • Cultural Agreement (1957)
  • Agreement of Commerce (1958)
  • Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (1960)
  • Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology (1985)
  • Japan-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (2011)

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