A new Securiy paradigm

Japan is mending feces with India to Conten China in Asia.Garima Singh Delhi Japanese Admiral Takashi Saito's visit to India in February this year was followed in March by that of General Tsutomu Mori, head of Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force and in April by the Chief of Japan's Air Self-Defence Force, General Tadashi Yoshida. Following these visits, the Indian Defence Minister’s visit to Japan in May this year led to the announcement of several measures to step up defence cooperation between the two countries, including holding goodwill exercises between the Indian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force. Japanese Admiral Takashi Saito's visit to India in February this year was followed in March by that of General Tsutomu Mori, head of Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force and in April by the Chief of Japan's Air Self-Defence Force, General Tadashi Yoshida. Following these visits, the Indian Defence Minister’s visit to Japan in May this year led to the announcement of several measures to step up defence cooperation between the two countries, including holding goodwill exercises between the Indian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force.  It is evident that Japan is in the process of gradually mending fences with India, especially after the estrangement that followed the May 1998 nuclear tests. The drivers behind this change are the so-called “peaceful” rise of China, the emerging geopolitical situation in Asia and the larger threat of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.   India, China, Japan and Korea are among the major players in Asia. China articulated the policy of “peaceful rise” in 2003 wherein it stated that it favoured economic development by taking advantage of the peaceful international environment. Though China called it peaceful, its rise is being seen as a long-term threat by most of the Asians nations including Japan. The Japanese are not certain the "peaceful rise" theory applies to them. Chinese leaders have not hesitated to let diplomatic conflict with Japan escalate over various issues. China’s estimated military budget of about $40 billion to $50 billion annually does not enhance confidence. The increase in military spending coupled with the deployment of short and medium-range missiles by China all along the Fujian coast, has caused much concern in Japan. Japan’s relations with South Korea too have been anything but smooth.   India by contrast is a more reliable ally, and its growing economic and diplomatic clout is a key reason for bringing Japan closer. After the end of Cold War and the subsequent emergence of unipolar world it is only now that the balance of power is tilting towards India and China. In April 2005, India entered into strategic partnership with China, and in June the same year signed a 10-year defence framework agreement with the United States. It is time that India looks towards Japan for enhancing its power and interests in the region. Japan is a member of the Australia Group, the Zangger Committee and also an important player in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India does need the help of NSG to implement its nuclear agreement with the US.   In order to reach out to be a world player India needs to pursue a sophisticated policy. It should create the necessary balance of power in its geo-strategic environment in order to concentrate on economic, technological and military matters that are indispensable to its emergence as a true great power. Shyam Saran, India’s foreign secretary, has rightly said   "We believe that in terms of managing the emerging security scenario in Asia we need to bring more and more countries within the discipline of a mutually agreed security paradigm for this region."  In case China’s integration with the world order remains peaceful, it will be a good development for regional and international peace and stability. However, in case China’s rise is violent and leads to instability, India will need to cooperate closely with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan and the ASEAN countries to forge a force for peace and stability in Asia.  The author is an associate fellow with the Institute of Security Studies, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi

Topic: