International Humanity

A Blog Started to Record my thoughts on International News events

Co-op between Japan and India to promote development in SE Asia

Posted by alexfrancis on March 7, 2007


Both Japan and India are democratic states who share common goals of improving the impoverished conditions of SE Asia; yet both seem relatively inflexible in their political alignment structures.

While Japan has been heavily influenced by the United States since the end of WWII, especially with its US constructed pacifist policy, India has chosen the route of non-alignment. The result is that India can exert little influence in the international arena because of its neutrality. Japan, on the other hand, has its values and institutions in international affairs influenced by the United States’ foreign policy.

However, India and Japan do share common interests in making South East Asia a safer place for its inhabitants. Japan seeks to deter North Korean nuclear ambitions, while India holds concerns for the impoverished nations that characterize SE Asia. In addition, Japan is the world’s second leading contributor to foreign aid and has sent significant aid to Sri Lanka.

In recent years, Japan has supplied India with more efficient energy technologies and is promoting the spread of more efficient energy sources in developing countries. India would prove to be an important partner to Japan because of its status as a somewhat newly industrialized country. In addition, India is culturally similar to surrounding regions in SE Asia, unlike the US, and thus would be able to generate a more welcoming attitude towards Japanese development assistance. 

To achieve better cooperation, the Prime Ministers of Japan and India have meet several times in 2005 to build a trusting relationship between the two countries. By directing Japan’s economic power through India’s cultural connections, development in SE Asia may improve and perhaps even begin to balance China’s predominant position in Eastern Asia.

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