Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies
Online ISSN : 2432-4302
Print ISSN : 1344-4204
ISSN-L : 1344-4204
India’s Foreign Policy towards Japan: Special Partnership amid Regional Transformation
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2020 Volume 38 Issue 1 Pages 19-37


India and Japan have upgraded their cordial relations to a special strategic partnership. The deepening of this relation is particularly evident since 2014, when Narendra Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, thus leading the nation to embark on a new journey of consolidating regional influence and establishing itself as a regional power amid the rise of China and regional transformations. India is very keen on furthering the special partnership with Japan, which not only allows Indian presence in regional strategic and security architecture, but also does not hinder the Indian autonomy. This paper, through the analysis of India’s Japan strategy, security and infrastructure agreements, especially since 2014, seeks to address how India’s foreign policy towards Japan has undergone changes to allow for India’s greater role in Asia and what factors have led to these changes in India’s Japan policy. The paper argues that realist perspective of balance of power in the backdrop of the rise of China as well as constructivist perspective of India’s principle of non-alignment (despite strategic friendships), have been the base of India’s Japan policy under Modi government, to pursue and promote greater Indian presence in geo-political and geo-strategic spheres. The paper analyses the India-Japan partnership as a response to emerging regional security challenges, explores the prospects of the partnership and charts the course of changing Indian diplomacy towards Japan.

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© 2020 Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies
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