Indo-Japanese relations have grown increasingly over the past decade, with significant personal momentum and commitment from top leaders in Tokyo and New Delhi. The two countries held their 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Tokyo on September 8, for which Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh visited Japan. The late Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo played a leading role in the development of Indo-Japanese relations, but it seems that these relations should also continue with the same vigor under Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a reflection of both sides’ commitment to maintaining the momentum of India-Japan relations. The rapidly changing nature of threats in the Indo-Pacific, including the strategic consequences of the rise of China, are additional imperatives to sustain this momentum.
In its opening Remarks At the 2+2 bilateral ministerial dialogue, Jaishankar reiterated the significance of the meeting, saying it reflected “India’s commitment to deepen our bilateral security and defense cooperation and also demonstrate the strength of our special strategic and global partnership”. He added that the relationship, “rooted in our common values of democracy, freedom and respect for the rule of law”, is all the more important in the context of “very serious developments” which require “common solutions through dialogue and diplomacy”. .”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is one of the “very serious developments” that Jaishankar was probably referring to, but India and Japan have divergent answers. Japan is among the countries that have taken tough measures against Russia, including sanctions against Russian entities; India has continued to advocate for a return to diplomacy to resolve the current conflict. The indian posture also distinguishes New Delhi within the Quadruple.
Although these differences persist, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa spoke on the broader security environment, suggesting that “[a]As we face many challenges in the Indo-Pacific and beyond the region today, we want to share the awareness of the security environment in the region so that we can achieve concrete cooperation. and solid between us.
Following the conclusion of the 2+2 Dialogue, Jaishankar said in a press release that the Dialogue was taking place at a time of a “complicated global environment”. He added that in this context, India and Japan are two countries “committed to promoting a rules-based order, ensuring respect for international law and standards and safeguarding the global commons”. He called for strengthening India-Japan relations in this context and added that New Delhi and Tokyo should work more closely on foreign and security policies. Identifying some of the emerging technology areas in addition to conventional issues, Jaishankar said the two were working on cybersecurity, 5G deployment and critical and strategic minerals, all of which were part of the dialogue.
Deepen defense exchanges, increase maritime cooperation, including maritime domain awareness (MDA), and booster defense equipment and technology cooperation were areas covered in Indian Defense Minister Singh’s conversation with his counterpart, Hamada Yasukazu. The two ministers also discussed ways to strengthen commitments in emerging and critical technologies. Outlining security and defense ties, Singh said that “Japan’s participation for the first time in the multilateral exercise MILAN and the operationalization of the reciprocal supply and service agreement in March this year are milestones in the progress of cooperation in the field of defense between our forces”. There is also now usual “staff talks and high-level dialogue between the three services and the Coast Guard”, in addition to talks between the Japan Self-Defense Force Joint Staff and the Defense Staff integration of India. Sing too Underline India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) which “shares many commonalities with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)”.
Hamada agreed with the Indian minister on the qualitative changes that have taken place in defense and security relations between India and Japan and added that these will see “new heightsin the future, including their plans to undertake the first joint fighter jet training.
India-Japan engagement has been strengthened both on the bilateral front as well as in minilateral formats such as the Quad in recent years. Indeed, just a few days ago, the Quad Senior Officials Meeting was hosted by New Delhi. There, the officials “discussed regional and global developments, reaffirming their vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.” On the sidelines, the India-USA The 2+2 intersessional meeting as well as the Indo-US Maritime Security Dialogue took place, indicating a growing convergence of Indian strategic interests with those of the Quad members.
So, despite some disagreements over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as some small progress in the disengagement of forces along the Sino-Indian border, India’s relations with its new strategic partners in the Quad seem to be improving. deepen regularly.