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Congressional Research Service Report

Congressional Research Service Report

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Publicado porSurabhi Malik

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Published by: Surabhi Malik on Sep 14, 2011
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02/07/2013

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India’s relations with Japan only began to blossom in the current century after being significantly
undermined by India’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests. Today, leaders from both countries
acknowledge numerous common values and interests. They are engaging a “strategic and global
partnership” formally launched in 2006, when the Indian foreign minister spoke of Japan as a
“natural partner in the quest to create an arc of advantage and prosperity” in Asia. He also
emphasized India’s desire for economic integration in Asia and cooperative efforts to secure vital
sea lanes, especially in the Indian Ocean. Japan’s support for the latter initiative has included
plans for unprecedented joint naval exercises. New Delhi and Tokyo also share an interest in
seeing membership of the U.N. Security Council expanded—both governments aspire to
permanent seats.

After years of negotiations, New Delhi and Tokyo finalized a free trade agreement in October
2010, after differences over Indian tariff rates and Japanese restrictions on the importation of
generic Indian pharmaceuticals were settled. Bilateral trade was already increasing rapidly: its
total value in 2010 exceeded $14.5 billion, up by some 46% over 2009. India has also secured a
$4.5 billion loan from Japan for construction of a 900-mile freight railway between Delhi and
Mumbai, the largest-ever single-project overseas loan offered by Japan. The Indian government
hopes that the “Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor” project will attract more than $90 billion in
foreign investment following completion. According to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Japan has since 1986 been India’s largest aid donor.167

U.S., Indian, and Japanese naval vessels held unprecedented combined naval exercises in the Bay
of Bengal in 2007 (Australian and Singaporean vessels also participated). Officials stressed that
the exercises—which involved a total of 27 ships and submarines, among them two U.S. aircraft

163

“Press Conference by External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna,” External Affairs Ministry transcript, January 7,
2011; “Major India, Russia Talking Points,” Reuters, December 20, 2010; “India, Russia Reaffirm Strategic
Partnership,” Associated Press, December 25, 2010.

164

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute press release, March 14, 2011.

165

“India-Russia Relations,” Ministry of External Affairs document, July 2011.

166

See also CRS Report RL33436, Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress, coordinated by Emma Chanlett-Avery.

167

“India-Japan Relations,” Ministry of External Affairs document, July 2011; “Japan-India Relations,” Japanese
Ministry of Foreign Affairs document, February 2011.

India: Domestic Issues, Strategic Dynamics, and U.S. Relations

Congressional Research Service

38

carriers—were not prompted by China’s growing military strength. New Delhi favors greater
trilateral India-U.S.-Japan cooperation, especially in the areas of trade and energy security, but
shies from anything that could be construed as a multilateral security alliance. Washington, New
Delhi, and Tokyo have plans to commence a senior-level trilateral dialogue in 2011.

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