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PM Visit to Japan: A new dimension to India-Japan Relationship

November 17, 2018

PM Visit to Japan: A new dimension to India-Japan Relationship



India and Japan has reached a historic milestone as Japan has diluted, with concern and exceptions, for a landmark civil nuclear deal between the two countries after tough negotiations for over six years. With this agreement India will the facility of export of Japan’s atomic technology and reactors with credible feature of safety and security.

The Civil Nuclear deal

The pact is an exclusive document of co-operation because it is Japan’s first civilian nuclear cooperation pact with any country that has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The ‘Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy’ pact provides for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus strengthening of energy security of the country.

India currently has 5.7 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear power generation capacity (accounts for 2% of the total power capacity). To meet the expected boom in demand from Industry to Household, and for the meeting the emission norm liability by moving away from fossil fuel Civil Nuclear Deal will play a crucial role.  India’s Department of Atomic Energy’s target is to have 63GW of nuclear power capacity by 2032.

With the signing of Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal, India will get the technology streamlining from Japanese tech-firms which are key to make Indo-USA civil deal (signed in 2008) operational too. With Japanese companies in possession of critical technologies this deal with Japan will be pivotal for India as the Westinghouse (Electric Co.) and (French) Westinghouse Electric Company is a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba Corp. Areva.

Japan’s premier Abe’s remark is crucial as he has said that this agreement is a legal framework that India will act responsibly in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and also in Non-Proliferation regime even though India is not a participant or signatory of NPT. It (the agreement) is in line with Japan’s ambition to create a world without nuclear weapons.”

There was political resistance in Japan – the only country that has suffer atomic bomb attack during World War II – against a nuclear deal with India, particularly after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.


The two country has condemned terrorism in strongest terms, in all its forms and manifestations in the spirit of ‘zero tolerance’. They called upon all countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities.

Improving relationship

India and Japan has successfully partnered the Malabar naval exercise as the convergence of the strategic interests in the high-waters of the Indo-Pacific oceanic region.

The high speed train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is being built with the help of Japan. The designing of the project will begin by the end of this year, construction will begin in 2018 and the high speed train will be in service from 2023.

The Japanese private sector also would be setting up an institute of manufacturing in India to train about 30,000 people in 10 years, particularly in rural areas.

A tourism bureau in New Delhi is scheduled to be set up by Japan with the new deal to encourage people-to-people contacts.

Though the trade between the two Asian countries have been not at par performing at potential  over the past few years, Japan has been among the largest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past 15 years.

Excluding Mauritius, Japan ranked third in terms of FDI equity inflows to India between April 2000 and March 2016, after Singapore and the UK. Mauritius is India’s biggest source of FDI equity inflows. Japan’s FDI equity investments in India reached a peak of $4.4 billion in 2008-09 after which it has fluctuated.


Ahead of Modi’s visit to Japan, the Chinese official media had warned that India may suffer ‘losses’ in trade, if it joined Japan in asking China to obey the international tribunal quashing Beijing’s claims over South China Sea.

Historic commercial connect

The first direct contact between the two economies can be traced to the beginning of the Meiji period (1868), when raw materials sourced from India facilitated Japan’s early industrialisation.

In the year of 1883 direct shipping route between Mumbai (then Bombay) and Kobe was established. By 1915, India had replaced China as Japan’s main export market and Japan’s share of Indian exports matched that of many European countries.

Indo-Japan trade ties had been affected in political economy in the region, and around the world as trade and economic ties declined during the Cold War era when Japan allied more closely with the US, and India with the USSR. With the India’s economy began to open up since 2000s and the Cold War era ended as precedence, ties with Japan in trade and investments picked up. After India tested nuclear weapons in 1998 the Japan imposed sanctions on India. Indo-Japanese ties have recovered since then but the growth in trade has been slow.

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