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Japan and India; the Past, the Present and the Future

Contributor : Hiroshi Hirabayashi (President of the Japan-India Association) Contributor List

(Presentation in the Symposium
    at Indian International Center, New Delhi)


1. Spiritual influence of India on Japan through Japanese history
(1) Arrival of Buddhism through China in the middle of 6th century and its impacts on Japan.
(2) Indian influence in Japan.
 *Inauguration of Great Buddha Statue of Todaiji-Temple
 by Bodhi-Sena (752 AD)
 *Passage of the “Boys’ Mission sent by Christian
 Daimyos at Goa on the way to Rome (1582)
 *“Tenjiku” ( India )and Buddhism :
 Hindu deities transformed as Buddha's guardians

2. Relations from Meiji era to Word War Ⅱ
  : from India's admiration to a Rising Japan to
   mixed feelings about a warring Japan
(1) Development of industries in Japan and the role of Indian cotton in Meiji restoration,
 *Impacts of the inauguration of Japanese shipping
 sea-lane to Bombay,
 *Cultural and spiritual contacts;
 Tenshin Okakura (1862-1913)
 and Rabindranath Tagor (1861-1941)
 *Establishment of the Japan-India Association
 by Shigenobu Okuma & Eiichi Shibusawa in 1903
(3) Great impacts of Nippo-Russia War (1904-05) on India's independence movement;
   Cf. “World History from Father to Daughter”
    by Jawaharlal Nehru
(4) Disillusionment of some Indians to Japan's invasion to Asia
(5) Japan's support for the creation of both IIL and INA and the cooperation to fight against the British Empire
 *Japan helping two Boses
 (Rash Bihari Bose & Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose),
 *The creation of Indian Independence League
 (IIL, 1942.3) by B. Bose
 *The inauguration of the Indian National Army
 (INA, Azad Hindi Fauji )by Rash Behari Bose &
 Mohan Singh
 *Chandra Bose, disappointed by Nazi Germany,
 to seek help from Japan (1943.5)
 *C. Bose, with the help of the Japanese government
 and the military, succeeded to take the rein of the
 IIL and became the commander of the INA (1943.7)
 *The Greater Asia Conference (1943.11) ;
 Chandra Bose as observer
 *Joint Japan-INA operations in Burma and N-E India
 (“Operations Imphar”)
(6) C. Bose, on the way to Russia through Japan, died in air plane clash in Taipei airport.
 *Ashes of the Netaji in Renkoji-Temple Suginami-ku,
 Tokyo;some doubtful Indians about the anecdote,
 until today.
(7) After WWⅡ, INA, prosecuted by British Raj, resisted with popular support of the Indian people, leading to the independence of India in1947.

3. Independent India and post-War Japan
  : Mutual sympathy with a sense of distance
(1) Sympathy of Indians to the defeated Japan
 *the Far East International Military Tribunal of the
 Allied Powers and Judge Radhabinod Pal of India
 significance of Judge Radhabinod Pal's dissident
 opinion, among 11 judges, denouncing the validity
 and the verdict of the Tribunal and eventual
 sympathetic opinion from Dutch judge
  - legal arguments and a sense of justice mixed
  with distrust against victorious Western powers
  →illegality of the retroactive application of
  “crime against peace” and “crime against humanity”
 *the gift of Indira (baby elephant) from
 PM Jawaharlal Nehru to Japanese children (1949),
 to be followed by two elephants Daya & Asha donated in 1984
 by PM Indira Gandhi and one Surya in 2001 by
 Defense Minister G.Fernandes
(2) Reject of the San Fransisco Peace Conference (1951) by India and the establishment of relations with Japan by the bilateral Peace Treaty(1952)
(3) Significance of importation of Indian iron ore for Post-War reconstruction of Japanese industries
 The first commitment of ODA (Yen ) concessional loan by Japan to India (1958)
(4) Sporadic mutual visits of VIPs and State Funerals
- PMs'visits and other top visits
 Indira Gandhi (69, 82, 85, 88), H. Ikeda (81),
 Y. Nakasone (84), Rajiv Gandhi (85,88), Kaifu (90),
 Rao (92), Miyazawa (97) and visits on State Funerals
 (Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Emperor Showa) &
 Enthronement of Emperor Heisei
 Significance of the National Mourning of India at the
 demise of Emperor Showa
(5) Implications of Suzuki Motors'investment in India (1982)

4. A New Era opened after the End of the Cold War
(1) Economic crisis of India in 1991 and Japan's emergency support to India
(2) A new era opened for rapid economic development and multi-dimensional relations for India
(3) Still rare visit of PMs during 1990s between Japan & India; T.Kaifu (90), N.Rao (92), unfulfilled visit of R. Hashimoto

5. Post nuclear-tests relations and Japan-India “Global Partnership”
(1) Japanese reactions to the nuclear tests in 1998; verbal protests, suspension of ODA
(2) India's sanguine & low profile reactions to Japan in comparison with other powers
(3) Path to the restored relationships of India with the international community
 *US-India strategic dialogues (1999~) and
 Pres. Clinton's visit to India (2000.3)
 *PM Mori's visit to India (2000.8) and
 a paradigm shift of relations
 →Declaration of the “Global Partnership between Japan & India”
 Rationales of the “Global Partnership”
  -Geostrategic reasons; China, sea-lanes,
  Look-East policy of India
  -Economic reasons; mutually complementary economies,
  India’s potential
  -Need of cooperation for the reform
  of United Nations Security Council and
  other international agenda
(4) Implication of 9/11 on India’s international relations and the war on terrorism
  →Resumption of Japan's ODA (2001.10)
(5) The path to, and the consolidation of, the “Strategic and Global Partnership”
 *PM Koizumi's visit to India (2005.4)
 →Giving “strategic” dimension to the Global Partnership
 *PM Manmohan Singh's visit to Japan (2006.12)
 →Upgrading the GP to the “Strategic and Global Partnership”
  (SGP)
 *G8 Toyako Summit”, Enlarged Summit
 with the emerging countries and a path to G20 (2007.6)
 *PM Abe's visit to India(2007.8) →A new roadmap of GSP;
 “Confluence of two Seas” speech
 by Abe in the Indian Parliament
  ; environment and energy security as priorities,
 a road map of GSP
 *PM Singh's visit to Japan
 → Two symbolic big projects between Delhi & Mumbai
 (Dedicated Freight Corridor(DFC) and
 Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC))
 *PM Hatoyama's visit to India (2009.12)
 *PM Singh's visit to Japan (2010.10)
 →Comvehensive Economic Partnership Agreement(CEPA)
 agreed, negotiations for civil nuclear cooperation ,
 CEPA came into effect in August, 2011
 *PM Noda's visit to India (2011.12)

6. Japan-India relations of today and agenda for the future
(1) Strengthened political relations
 * Mutual visits every year of PMs to India or Japan,
 various multilateral summits
 * Diplomatic dialogues at all levels,
 * Cooperation between two defense authorities ,
 * Cooperation between two navies & coast guards,
 * 2+2 dialogue (since 2010)
(2) Accelerating economic relations and the pending agenda
 *Various dialogues and cooperation; industry, energy,
 urban development,
 science and technology, civil aviation, economic strategy,
 *Business dialogues;
 Joint Economic Committees (since 1966),
 Business Leaders Forum,
 Keidanren-Confederation of Indian Industries(CII) forum
 *Official Development Assistance;
 India as the biggest partner of Japan's ODA,
 *Big cooperation projects; DMIC, DFC
 *Currency swapping agreement,
 *CEPA's impacts
 *Development of connectivity in South India
 (Bengarulu & Chennai, etcs)
(3) Need of cultural and youth exchange
 *The 50th (2002) and 60th (2012) Anniversaries
 of diplomatic relations,
 The Year of Cultural Exchanges (2007)
 *Youth invitation programs,
 *Scholarships, support for Japanese language learning,
 internship in companies
 *Exchange programs among universities and institutes,
 *“Reconstruction of Naranda University” program,
 *Joint establishment of a new ITT in Hyderabad
 *Promotion of tourism
(4) Science and technology
 - Priority fields; nano-technology, biotechnology,
 new communication technology high-energy accelerator,
 space, satellite, disaster management
(5) Regional and global cooperation
 -India from a dialogue partner of G8 to G20
 -Political and security cooperation ;
 non-proliferation, war against terrorism and piracy,
 reform of United Nations Security Council(UNSC)
 and other world institutions, climate change
 *Cooperation for global issues such as climate change
 and biodiversity
 *Regional cooperation;
 East Asia Summit(EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum(ARF),
 South Asian Association for RegionalCooperation(SAARC),
 “triangular cooperation” to third countries.

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