Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trip to India appears to have been a success. From the WSJ:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe, his Japanese counterpart, signed the $15 billion rail pact, agreed to transfer technology to increase arms production in India and said Japan will be a stable guest at Indian-U. S. naval exercises […]
Mr. Modi offered Mr. Abe—a fellow nationalist—support for his concerns over China’s land reclamation around small reefs in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by other countries in the region. Japan is also concerned that if China’s territorial ambitions go unchecked it could face more pressure in the East China Sea.
“The message is: We don’t want Chinese hegemony in Asia and we’ll work together to create a multipolar Asia,” said Sreeram Chaulia, Dean of the New Delhi-based Jindal School of International Affairs.
Progress was also reportedly made on an energy deal that could see Japan helping India build nuclear reactors, but the two countries said they weren’t quite there yet, citing “technicalities” as responsible for the holdup.
India and Japan make natural partners and the United States has a strong interest in seeing their relationship deepen. Abe and Modi certainly talk a big game and have arranged some impressive deals, but they’ll also need to get their own houses in order before the partnership can reach its true potential. In the long run, we’re cautiously optimistic. But for now, lots of work still needs to be done.