The burgeoning India-Japan partnership

Key infrastructure, military outposts and sea lanes in the Indian Ocean
China’s infrastructure buildup in the Indian Ocean threatens New Delhi’s traditional sphere of influence (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Recently, the Indo-Japanese relationship has grown warmer
  • The main reason is China’s rise and its projection of power into the Indian Ocean
  • Stronger military ties between Tokyo and Delhi have alarmed Beijing
  • The partnership seems destined to grow stronger, especially in naval matters

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. This ancient principle is gaining new relevance in a world of fast-shifting geopolitics. It is also at the heart of a new and unprecedented rapprochement between Japan and India.

China is competing with India for influence in Asia, and has hugely increased its diplomatic, economic and political involvement in Pakistan, India’s archrival. At the same time, China is also a historic adversary of Japan. So it is logical that at a time when China is projecting its power ever further, Tokyo and New Delhi have grown closer. In fact, it is surprising how long it has taken for the rapprochement to come about, though geographic and cultural distance have been factors.

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