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RSTV – THE BIG PICTURE ANALYSIS

India-Japan Cooperation

The Topic covers GS paper 2 [Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.]

Context

  • Indian and Japanese warships conducted exercises in the Indian Ocean last week. 

  • The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force described the manoeuvres as designed to “promote mutual understanding” and consisted of four warships, two from each country. 

What is the background of him?

  • Naval exercises are now routine between India and Japan, but the timing of the present exercise will be related with the military stand-off between India and China in Ladakh. 

  • The Indian navy training vessels INS Rana and INS Kulush were joined by the Japanese navy’s JS Kashima and JS Shimayuki. 

  • The Japanese embassy in New Delhi said this was the 15th such exercise in three years. 

  • The Japanese navy has become one of the principal partners of the Indian Navy. 

  • Indian naval ships take part in the exercise, both bilaterally with their Japanese counterparts and as part of the Malabar Exercises, which include the United States.

What is the issue of the Senkaku Islands?

  • The Senkaku Islands, as Japan calls it, have been contested by China and Japan for nearly a century. 

  • Located 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometres) southwest of Tokyo, the islands have been administered by Japan since 1972.

  • Since April, Japan has reportedly spotted at least 67 Chinese ships near Senkaku islands. 

  • Japan has already deployed its missiles towards its border facing China amid its several maritime incursions.

  • To avoid any confusion, Ishigaki City Council in Japan’s Okinawa approved legislation to change the administrative status of the Senkaku islands by changing its name from “Tonoshiro” to Tonoshiro Senkaku” in June.

  • Chinese aggression could also be retaliation against Japan as they grow closer to each other in an effort to contain China, expert talking to EurAsian Times state. 

  • Japan is also looking to sign an intelligence-sharing pact with India, Australia and the UK to track Chinese Navy vessels in the region.

What is India, Japan's pact to track China?

  • Chinese belligerence with India and other Asian neighbours has broken the slumber of many nations. 

  • Japan has decided to sign a pact for intelligence sharing with India, Australia and the U.K and not rely solely on the US for its security needs against China.

  • The expansion came in last month’s revision of standards for the legislation, which already includes the United States, Japan’s closest ally. 

  • The law sets sentences of up to 10 years in jail for leaking secrets considered to risk “causing severe damage to Japan’s national security,” covering areas such as defence, diplomacy and counterterrorism.

  • Classifying data from a foreign military as a state secret will promote joint operations and collaborations for developing equipment. 

  • It also becomes easier to share data on Chinese troop movements, a highly critical matter as it has grown harder for Japan to track Chinese movements in the region by itself.

  • Chinese Coast Guards sailed the East China Sea around Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by China as the for a record 80th consecutive day. 

  • China has toughened its stance and control over the South China Sea and threatening all neighbouring nations including the ASEAN countries.

  • The law change will facilitate intelligence sharing with the U.K., Australia, India and France, with which Tokyo has signed pacts that commits all signatories to keep the classified defence information as top secret. 

  • Decreasing the risk of leaks should reassure these countries to share classified information.

  • The amendment also serves to boost comprehensive partnership under security legislation that took effect in 2016, letting Japan exercise the right to collective self-defence and supply fuel and ammunition to other armies in case of a conflict. 

  • To implement these missions, Japan needs precise data on size, capacity and operating areas of these forces, which can include highly secret data.

  • Amid the ongoing India-China border standoff in Ladakh, the Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces conducted a joint training exercise in the Indian Ocean.

Conclusion

The ongoing feud at Ladakh has helped India and Japan to strengthen their ties even further. Satoshi Suzuki, Japanese Ambassador to India, said that he had a “good talk” with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla in this regard.  The Japanese Ambassador took to twitter to express appreciation for the briefing on the situation along LAC and hoped for a peaceful resolution.

With regards to the Chinese intrusion into Japanese waters, Tokyo has lodged strong protests with China. The disputed islands are also claimed by Taiwan.



 
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