Chinese media to India: Don’t try to use Japan to contain China

There is nothing like the India-Japan connect that gives an ascendant and assertive China jitters. Given the bonhomie and bonding that was on display between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad and transformative outcomes that emanated from the summit meeting on September 14, the Chinese media’s backlash hardly comes as a surprise.
Dismissing the “growing intimacy” between India and Japan, the Global Times, the hawkish Chinese tabloid which led the propaganda blitz during the Doklam standoff, has warned India not to get into containment games with Japan.
“After the Doklam standoff, more voices in the Indian media instigate the country to step up cooperation with the US and Japan against China and exaggerate the geopolitical significance of closer India-Japan ties. Yet this to a large degree has exposed the vulnerable feeling of the Indian strategic circle in front of China”, the Global Times said in an op-ed article. It attacked Japan by saying “… Japan has been more narrow-minded in looking for allies globally to encircle China.”

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India, Japan upscale ties, ink 15 pacts

Opening a new era in their partnership, India and Japan have inked 15 pacts in diverse areas, including nuclear energy, clean energy, high-speed rail and infrastructural development.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held wide-ranging talks in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar on September 14 that will upscale economic and strategic partnership between two of Asia’s leading democracies.
Against the backdrop of China’s increasing assertiveness in the region, India and Japan decided to expand their defence ties and jointly called for “achieving a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.” The strategic connect between India and Japan was detailed in the joint statement which envisages an alignment of Japan’s free and open Indo-Pacific strategy with India’s Act East Policy, joint exercises and enhanced collaboration in producing military hardware.

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Modi’s ‘Charm Abe’ blitz: Kem Chho, Garba and Buddhist monks…

A resplendent roadshow, garba dance, vegetarian delicacies, Buddhist monks, and chants of Khem Chho….In a series of unprecedented gestures, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi literally rolled out the red carpet for his Japanese counterpart
Shinzo Abe, as the latter touched down in Ahmedabad on a two-day visit.
In a departure from protocol, Mr Modi personally received his honoured Japanese guest at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International airport in Ahmedabad. As both leaders walked the red carpet they were greeted by folk artists along the way dancing to popular Gujarati beats and a group of Buddhist monks who presented Abe and First Lady Akie Abe a white scarf. Both leaders then travelled from the airport to Sabarmati Ashram in a colourful roadshow, stretching over eight kilometres.
The spectacular welcome for Mr Aabe imparted a new resonance to India’s age-old tradition of treating a guest as God: “Atithi Devo Bhava.”
The city of Ahmedabad wore a festive look as onlookers thronged along the entire stretch of the road through which the cavalcade made its way to the Sabarmati Ashram. Every roundabout had troops of dancers performing and school children cheering the leaders.
“These special gestures are designed to underscore the importance India attaches to developing a multi-dimensional relationship with Japan and the pivotal role Japan will play in India’s transformation, specially in areas of infrastructure and technology,” said Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network and India and World magazine.

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Why India-Japan nuclear concord is a big deal

Marking the transformative moment in India-Japan relations, Asia’s second and third largest economies signed a historic nuclear pact that signals a new dawn in their burgeoning relations, and makes Tokyo an indispensable partner in India’s development journey.
In Kantei, the stately glass-and-wood office of Japan’s prime minister, there was an atmosphere of quiet celebration as Tokyo made a leap of faith and exceptionalized India by signing its first nuclear deal with a country which hasn’t signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe smiled as India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Japan’s ambassador to India signed the pact and shook hands warmly.
It was an India-plus exception and underscored New Delhi’s growing profile in Tokyo’s strategic calculus. For Mr Abe it wasn’t an easy decision given Japan’s entrenched nuclear non-proliferation orthodoxy and its singular experience of being attacked by nuclear negotiations, but in the end his strategic vision of the potential of the world’s fastest growing economy and an emerging security provider won.
The text of the nuclear agreement has not been made public so far, but Mr Jaishankar underlined “striking similarities” with the 123 agreement India signed with the US. It’s an improvised and updated version of the 123 agreement, albeit with Japan-specific features.
The deal’s importance goes much beyond nuclear commerce, and paves the stage for a marked acceleration of India-Japan relations in all areas, including trade and investment, green energy and connectivity. This was clear from the signing of 10 agreements and a soaring vision of India-Japan relations which will draw Asia’s two leading democracies in a tighter strategic embrace in the Indo-Pacific region. The deal also signalled a more proactive and expanded role by Japan in key schemes of national renewal, including Make in India, Digital India and Skill India.

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Modi’s Tokyo visit: India, Japan set to sign nuclear deal

Capping years of tortuous negotiations, India and Japan look set to sign a transformational civil nuclear deal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s November 10-12 visit to Tokyo.

The negotiations for the civil nuclear deal were completed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to New Delhi in December last year. The text for the civil nuclear deal has also been finalised, with all contentious issues sorted out. Since then, nuclear negotiators of both sides have completed a technical and legal scrub of the text of the nuclear agreement.

The agreement is expected to be signed after talks between Mr Modi and his Japanese counterpart Abe in Tokyo on November 11.
The signing of the nuclear deal will pave the way for acceleration of India-Japan relations in all areas as it’s the only issue that is restricting the full potential of the strategic partnership between Asia’s leading democracies, which are moving closer in the backdrop of perceived Chinese assertiveness in the region.

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Act East in Laos: Focus on Modi’s meetings with Abe, Obama

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe were staying in the same hotel in Hangzhou for the G20 summit, and may have engaged in ritualistic pleasantries, but with China looking on, they will meet in Vientiane for a substantive bilateral meeting.
In a delicate geopolitical game, after engaging China’s President Xi Jinping in Hangzhou, PM Modi will now turn to India’s trusted strategic partner for support on the country’s crucial development agenda in which Tokyo has emerged as New Delhi’s prime partner. Significantly, Mr Xi and Mr Abe also met briefly on the sidelines of the G20 summit, signalling prospects of a thaw in strained bilateral relations between the two estranged rivals.
The meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Abe, who have forged a personal chemistry and special relationship, will be watched closely in Beijing for obvious reasons. China suspects India to be locked into a containment game with Japan and the US, a perception that has been repeatedly countered by New Delhi.
In Vientiane, Mr Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama. Mr Modi met Mr Obama for a brief pull aside talk in Hanzhou, with Mr Obama lauding the Indian leader for the passage of the path-breaking Goods and Sales Tax. The two leaders will have substantive discussions in Laos, with India’s membership of the NSG topping the agenda.

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