Japanese Prime Minister Visit
- Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida visited India in March 2023.
- Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida engaged with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on bilateral and global issues during his two-day visit to India in March 2023.
- He focused on cooperation between G-7 and G-20, as Japan and India are holding their presidencies respectively.
- Mr. Fumio Kishida also announced, “Japan’s New Plan for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP). He also talked about strengthening the “Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.
- It was highlighted that in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and India’s LAC (Line of Actual Control), the concept of FOIP needs further momentum.
- The New Plan for the FOIP emphasizes rule-based order and mutual respect for each other’s territories.
Associated Concerns and Way Ahead:
- The new policy of Japan focuses on the plethora of issues in the Indo-Pacific like food security, cyberspace, freedom of seas, connectivity, etc.
- There is a lack of united stand on the understanding of “what the international order should be”.
- However, it is suggested that FOIP will embrace diverse voices and create an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration.
Japan can address these concerns through:
- Japan needs to collaborate with other like-minded countries like India under FOIP.
- Rule-making through dialogue should be encouraged.
Japan’s course of Action:
Japan has outlined four pillars of cooperation under FOIP:
Principles for peace and rules for prosperity
- It is pointed out that vulnerable countries are impacted the most by the erosion of the rule of law.
- Thus, Japan is willing to engage in economic development programmes like the implementation of the G-20 Principles for “Quality Infrastructure Investment”.
Addressing challenges in an Indo-Pacific way
- Mr. Kishida talked about incorporating realistic and practical projects in the fields of climate change, health, food security, etc.
- In this direction, Japan is focusing on connectivity projects bilaterally with many countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The three areas identified under this pillar are Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the South Pacific/Pacific Island countries.
- Japan has taken several steps in this regard. For instance, The commitment of $100 million towards the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.
- Japan is promoting the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept in cooperation with India and Bangladesh.
- It is also supporting the development of the new Palau International Airport Terminal project.
Extending efforts for security and safe use of the “sea” to the “air
- Under this, it will strengthen the capabilities of maritime law enforcement agencies in other countries.
- It will implement the “strategic use of Official Development Assistance (ODAs)” and will put forth the guidelines for ODA for the next 10 years.
- Furthermore, it will introduce a new framework for “private capital mobilization-type” grant aid and revise the Development Cooperation Charter.
Analysis of Japan’s stand:
- Japan is trying to reinforce its centrality in the emerging geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific.
- It is concerned about the growing Chinese belligerence in the region.
- The new FOIP aims to stabilize the regional order, uphold peace and accommodate differing voices of countries.
- Japan is preparing for any unforeseen challenges both for itself and the Indo-Pacific region as a whole.