India and Japan enjoy a Special Strategic and Global Partnership, a relationship that has evolved over the years with the elevation of the partnership from a Global Partnership to a Strategic and Global Partnership in 2006 and eventually to a Special Strategic and Global Partnership in 2014.
This partnership is built on regular annual summits, the latest of which was held in March 2022 in New Delhi, where the two sides engaged in a 2+2 Ministerial meeting.
According to sources, “Our partnership is a comprehensive one, covering a broad range of areas such as defence and security, trade and investment, science and technology, education, healthcare, and emerging technologies. Defence and security cooperation has emerged as one of the most important pillars of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership, with both countries committed to ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The two sides have made significant progress in this area, including the successful conduct of the first fighter jet exercise “Veer Guardian” in Japan in January 2023 and the fourth “Dharma Guardian” army exercise, which was conducted for the first time in Japan. “Bilateral maritime security cooperation, including Navy to Navy cooperation, has also seen significant progress, with a large number of exercises being conducted. India’s participation in the International Fleet Review and the Malabar exercise off the Coast of Japan in November last year is a testament to this cooperation,” the source added.
Commercial and Economic Front
On the commercial and economic front, India and Japan have set up Japan Industrial Townships (JITs) to promote economic partnership, investment, industry, and infrastructure development. These integrated industrial parks provide world-class infrastructure facilities, plug-and-play factories, and investment incentives for Japanese companies.
Additionally, India and Japan have had a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) since 2011, which covers not only trade in goods but also services, movement of natural persons, investments, intellectual property rights, custom procedures, and other trade-related issues.
The Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP) under which both countries cooperate to promote industrial cooperation between the two countries has also been established, with a Roadmap launched at the Annual Summit held in New Delhi in March 2022.
Japan is the fifth-largest investor in India, with around 1450 Japanese companies operating in India today. The two countries are also cooperating in the areas of skill development and the movement of skilled workers, with Memorandums of Cooperation signed on Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) and Specified Skilled Worker (SSW). Under the SSW, 120 Indian youth have already been gainfully employed in Japan.
Clean energy is another area where India and Japan have launched a partnership aimed at promoting energy cooperation through diverse and realistic energy transitions utilizing all energy sources and technologies to ensure energy security, carbon neutrality, and economic growth.
Significance of bilateral meeting on Monday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
This presents an opportunity to discuss how the G20 and G7 can work together to converge priorities on critical global issues, including food and health security, energy transitions, and economic security. The meeting also provides an opportunity to review the progress made in our bilateral ties since the last Summit meeting held in March 2022.