As China's influence grows, India and Japan agree to increase security, economic ties

Japan’s and India’s foreign ministers on Thursday agreed to step up security and economic cooperation as the two Asian countries look to boost their ties in the face of China’s growing influence in the region.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa told a joint news conference after talks with her Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar that they reaffirmed their countries would expand bilateral security cooperation, including in the field of defense equipment and technology transfers.

She also said they agreed to look for possibilities to extend their cooperation to new areas of space and cybersecurity.

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Japan and India, members of the Quad grouping that also includes the United States and Australia, have rapidly intensified bilateral ties amid shared concern about China’s increasingly assertive economic and military activities in the region.

“India and Japan, as two major Indo-Pacific nations sharing values, history and interests, have an abiding stake in the peace, security, and prosperity of our region, and are ready to play a responsible role commensurate to the needs of our times,” said Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit in Tokyo to meet with Japanese government and business officials.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, left, and his Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, shake hands

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, left, and his Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, shake hands at their meeting at Iikura Guest House Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Noting rapidly changing strategic relations and a worsening security environment on the global stage where divisions and contention are deepening, Kamikawa said Japan wants to work with India in resolving common issues through dialogue and cooperation.

“Japan especially places importance on its relations with India, which has nurtured its own democracy and history and represents the Global South,” Kamikawa said.

“In light of the increasingly severe security environment of today, we confirmed the need for our defense and security cooperation,” she said.

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The two ministers welcomed expanding joint military exercises.

Jaishankar said their countries would work together to enhance economic security and supply chain resilience, and discussed cooperation in areas such as semiconductor, green technology and digital transformation.

Japan has also been supporting infrastructure development in India, and Kamikawa reaffirmed Tokyo’s continued help in high-speed rail projects.

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