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PSIR 2B-5.3 India – Japan – Previous Year Questions – Solved

Model Answers to PYQs (2018-2023)

1] What are the main drivers of India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership? [2022/20m/250w/7a]

Japan and India are partners in peace, with a common interest in and complementary responsibility for promoting the security, stability and prosperity of Asia as well as in advancing international peace and equitable development.

Formally established on 28th April 1952, the diplomatic relations between the two nations have since then been cordial and consistent.

In September 2014, the bilateral bond was upgraded to a ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’, summits under which continue to be held. Leaders of both countries have been vocal about their common goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. This forms part of the Japan-India Vision Statement which is a guide for the new era relations between the two.

The relationship between the two nations is multi-faceted in nature and is driven by forces of functional needs (i.e., complementary economies), interdependence, and mutual gain. Many analysts agree that despite having so much in common bilateral ties remain under-materialized. While India is one of the top beneficiaries of Japanese investments within the region, the full potential within the Official Development Assistance (ODA) domain is still to be achieved. Key engagement areas for the future include biotechnology, environmental energy, nuclear energy, and other non-traditional domains such as climate change.

As the Indian economy keeps growing many economic opportunities were created which lured the Japanese corporate sector, and thus became a key string that strengthened the bilateral relations in contemporary times.

India and Japan also initiated bilateral exercises like Dharma Guardian-2019 and SHINYUU Maitri-2019 and proceeded with coordination towards the first Japan-India joint fighter aircraft exercise in Japan. They also made significant progress in the negotiations of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and expressed an early conclusion of the negotiations which would pave the way for greater defence cooperation. Apart from this, both are members of QUAD and, both have signed agreements concerning the protection of classified military information and the transfer of defence equipment and technology.

Careful observation along with identifying the various opportunities for collaboration with Japan is key to establishing this new version of India-Japan relations. [342 words]

2] Write about the growing significance of QUAD [2021/10m/150w/5d]

The Quad demonstrates the strong solidarity between four nations; Australia, India, Japan and the USA, and their unwavering commitment to the common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has implemented flagship policies and military expansionism in line with a grandiose national dream. Epitomized by the Belt and Road Initiative, the ‘Chinese Dream’ has certainly increased Chinese influence on a global scale. Simultaneously, it has accelerated Beijing’s assertive and often bellicose “wolf warrior” posturing.

In response, the motive behind the Quad is to keep the strategic sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any military or political influence. It is basically seen as a strategic grouping to reduce Chinese domination. The core objective of the Quad is to secure a rules-based global order, freedom of navigation and a liberal trading system. The coalition also aims to offer alternative debt financing for nations in the Indo-Pacific region.

The significance for Quad is growing with the intensifying China-US trade war and China’s increasing global footprint.

Quad is significant for India as the forum strategically counters China’s economic and military rise. Interestingly, if Chinese hostilities rise on the borders, India can take the support of the other Quad nations to counter. In addition, India can even take the help of its naval front and conduct strategic explorations in the Indo-Pacific region.

The combination of policies, joint projects, military exercises, and meetings, of which the Quad is but one, means that the Indo-Pacific has become what we term a “geography of strategies.” It is the lodestar guiding like-minded states in confronting an assertive China. [264 words]

3] What are the notable features of the recently concluded pact or the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between India and Japan? How is it likely to address the security concerns of India? [2020/15m/200w/6b]

India and Japan recently signed an “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” that would allow the militaries of the two countries to exchange supplies and services on a reciprocal basis during exercises in which both participate, during U.N. and humanitarian assistance operations, as well as during visits to each other’s ports.

This agreement would systematize the procedure of mutual supply of goods and services relevant to the two militaries’ operations, within predetermined parameters, in terms of bookkeeping. This is different from such exchanges happening in an ad hoc fashion, as has been the case in the past.

The fact that India and Japan signed this agreement – under negotiation for some time – amid the India-China crisis in eastern Ladakh provides an exciting backdrop to a bland arrangement. Amid the growing tensions between India and China, with the ACSA agreement with Japan in place, the Indian Navy is going to get access to the Japanese base in Djibouti and the Japanese will get access to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Japan becomes the only sixth country with which India has such an arrangement, adding to the United States, France, Singapore, South Korea, and Australia. This agreement with Japan is just one feat towards the rising sun of the Indo-Japanese alliance for the arc of freedom. [210 words]

4] Do you agree that the growing assertiveness of China is leading to multi layered Indo Japan relations? Comment. [2018/15m/200w/8c]

There are four areas where Indo-Japanese cooperation against China can be noticed: growing security collaboration; Japan’s promises to help India reduce its economic dependence on China; Japanese assistance in enhancing infrastructure connections between India and its neighbours, and joint Indo-Japanese projects in smaller South Asian states.

Deepening cooperation between India and Japan is a reply to the growing appearance of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean. These avenues of collaboration include joint naval exercises, the entire Quad framework, and the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). Japan is providing grants in aid to enhance power generation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where it will be present as per ACSA. While this a project for civilian purposes, there is no denying it is being realized on sensitive territories: India’s first line of defence in case of China’s naval threat.

Further, the 2020 tensions in Ladakh strengthened New Delhi’s resolve to decrease imports from China by offering incentives to domestic producers. The Indian government has also become warier of China in the cybersecurity sector, a development that can be seen in its sterner approach to building 5G networks by apparently deciding to exclude Chinese firms. In the same period, Japan started to offer its assistance in building such networks in India.

Tokyo is helping New Delhi to improve its infrastructure connections with neighbours. It is visibly helping India exactly in those regions that New Delhi considers sensitive (the Northeast) and in building connections to some of the countries where India is wary of Chinese influence (Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar).

Indo-Japanese nascent cooperation on containing China in other parts of South Asia is also visible. In Bangladesh, a Japanese and Indian company jointly won a project to build the Dhaka Metro Rail Line-6 in 2018, and this has been portrayed by some as an aspect of rivalry with China.

Although separated by geography, India and Japan have a lot of shared interests. And their partnership becomes more important with the rise of China and its geopolitical ambitions. [334 words]

The post contains answers to the last 6-year papers i.e. (2023-2018). Answers to the previous year questions from 2013-2017 are a part of our book PSIR Optional Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2022)

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