Skip to comments.Japanese Premier Noda's India trip part of Japan's strategy to 'contain China'
Posted on 12/28/2011 12:50:55 PM PST by James C. Bennett
BEIJING: Japanese Premier Yoshihiko Noda's ongoing India visit aimed at boosting bilateral strategic ties was part of Tokyo's attempt to strengthen its alliances with Asia-Pacific nations to "contain" China, the official media here claimed today.
Boosting ties with India is part of Japan's strategy of strengthening alliances with Asia-Pacific nations with an eye on China, state-run China Daily quoted security analysts as saying.
The India-Japan summit is a continuance of Japan's "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity" strategy, which has been widely interpreted as an effort to contain China, Lu Yaodong, director of the department of Japanese diplomacy at the Institute of Japanese Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the daily.
Citing reports that Noda and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are expected to sign a currency swap accord worth up to USD 10 billion besides discussing nuclear cooperation, the daily referred to Noda's comments that he would discuss political, security, economic and human exchange and Japan's readiness to help infrastructure projects in India with Singh.
"Japan and India have comprehensively boosted regional cooperation in recent years, not only in security but also in economic ties. And the cooperation has been moving from bilateral to multilateral, trying to include the United States, Australia and India in its 'Arc of Freedom and Prosperity'," Lu said.
The "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity" is a pillar of Japan's diplomacy initiated in 2007 by former Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Aso. It has been interpreted as an effort to make allies to contain the rise of China in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
The report also noted that Noda's visit to India comes after the first round of trilateral talks in Washington last week among the US, India and Japan, and an India-Japan Defence Ministers' meeting in Tokyo in November.
There has been a renaissance in Japan-India relations since the 1990s, following their non-alignment during the Cold War, Takenori Horimoto, a professor of contemporary South Asian politics at Shobi University said.
With New Delhi's post-Cold War economic liberalisation policies, India has become a new market for Japan, Horimoto said.
"Meanwhile, the rise of China has meant that both Japan and India have increasingly eyed each other as potential strategic partners in the last five years," he said.
Difficulties in the US domestic economy have made it rely more on its Asian alliances to boost its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, after the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and its gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the newspaper quoted the analysts as saying.
Another report in the same newspaper said Japan's decision to lift ban on arms exports would also pose a threat to China.
"The lifting of the ban paves the way for Japan's air and marine forces to upgrade their hardware capability. So if we look at it over the long term, it will pose threats to China," Yang Bojiang, a professor of Japanese studies at the University of International Relations in Beijing, said.
The change could possibly reshuffle the international arms trade, and Japan's competitiveness in electrical equipment for military use may squeeze Russia's market share, he said.
"For Japan, it now breaks into a politically restricted area. But for the Asia-Pacific region, uncertainties have increased," Yang said.
Su Hao, director of the Asia-Pacific research centre at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, told the daily that Japan's relaxation of the arms export ban will complicate security in the Asia-Pacific region.
"As a further step to become a normal country, the allowance of arms exports will provide Japan a new way to boost ties with countries in East and Southeast Asia, " Su said.
"More important, Japan must have gained the approval of the US before it announced it was lifting the ban. This suggests that the two countries are working in coordination to adjust their Asia-Pacific strategy. So, it (the relaxation of the ban) will have a negative effect on China," he said.
China: India using Agni-V to increase clout in Asia
BEIJING: The proposed February launch of India's Agni-V missile has ruffled feathers among Chinese policy makers with Communist Party organ, the People's Daily ,saying the move reflects India's "intention of seeking regional balance of power".
It quoted Indian officials and scientists describing Agni-V missile as a "killer" for a "certain country" without mentioning which.
India "cannot tolerate " internal and external security environment constraints that come in the way of its developing military clout, the article said. However, it made no mention of China's massive missile build-up and development of air strike capabilities including the recent launchof an aircraft carrier.
"It is the Indian goal to continue to strengthen the military and possess a military clout that matches its status as a major power," the party mouthpiece said.
The article comes in the wake of remarks by Chinese experts expressing concern about the strengthening India-US relationship in military affairs.
They have voiced concerns about India joining the American game plan of "encircling China" by playing on the grouse of it s sea neighbors like Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. Beijing has vehemently opposed an ONGC deal for oil exploration in South China Sea that China regards asitsown.
The article in the People's Daily added that India should stop putting too much faith in the new US policy on the Asia Pacific region because "thinking this move will contain its imaginary enemy would be naive". It also said, "India should cooperate with the neighboring countries instead of being hostile to them and reduce its own persecution mania to play a role on the world stage in the future."
The newspaper said, "There is no real winner in wars and peace opportunities must not be wasted". The article recorded Indian official thinking that Agni-V will not pose a threat to any country as India has a policy of never being the first to attack anyone.
1st Indo-Japan-US trilateral talks today
China will be an important topic of discussion when senior officials from India, Japan and US meet in Washington on Monday in the first trilateral dialogue. On focus will also be maritime security and humanitarian assistance for disasters. The Indian team includes two key officials Javed Ashraf and Gautam Bambawale while the US team will be led by Kurt Campbell, their assistant secretary for east Asia. Discussions on Indian Ocean, South China Sea etc, will feature in the discussions. The three have an interest in maintaining free sea lanes of navigation in these seas as they are essential for energy flows.
At least the Japanese and Indians are paying attention to China, unlike the current U.S. administration.
All this is just plain empty talk. Japan will never have any military ties with India let alone build a strategic alliance as counter weight to China. Till date there has barely been any military-to-military exchange or any joint army exercise (other then multilateral naval exercise) between India and Japan. Surprisingly India actually has had bilateral naval and military exercise with China....but never with Japan. Japan has been the most vocal opponent to India’s nuclear program. Moreover Japan has much larger trade relations with China to jeopardize that with a military alliance with India. There is nothing of strategic value in Indo-Japanese relation beyond customary lip service. If India is seeking allies in the Asia-Pacific region, she is wasting time chasing Japan. They dont give a hoot about India.