India & Japan: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - December - 2014

India & Japan

India and Japan have a long history of engagements, relations between the two countries are as old as 6th century B.C. It started with Buddhism being introduced to Japan. Japan’s relation with India has always been positive, in freedom struggle Japan supported netaji. However the modern relations are more based on technological advancement of Japan. But even in present era where relations are dominated by economic sphere both countries have maintained good cultural, educational and spiritual ties based upon the values of democracy and rule of law. Strong cultural values of Japan has attracted Indian leaders from time to time, Swami Vivekananda once said that every Indian must visit Japan once in his/her lifetime. The Japan-India Association was set up 110 years ago in 1903, and is today the oldest international friendship body in Japan. India and Japan has seen lot of adversaries in the past but they have always stood by each other. Post the Second World War, India did not attend the San Francisco Conference, but decided to conclude a separate peace treaty with Japan in 1952 after its sovereignty was fully restored, marking a defining moment in the bilateral relations and setting the tone for the future.

Relationship between the two countries after independence started with India concluding a separate peace with Japan in 1952, which was all the more important because India did not attend the San Francisco Conference. After that Japanese PM visit to India in 1957 and India’s PM Jawahar lal Nehru’s visit to Tokyo same year started the long journey of mutual trust and friendship of two countries who were trying to get out of their problems. And most importantly in India there is a great admiration for Japan for how they have grown despite all the adversaries. Despite god beginning momentum of Indo-Japan relations died after 1950’s. This can be seen from the fact that no high level visit took place from India for 30 years. But Maruti Suzuki investment in 1980’s changed the scenario and they brought good business practices with them. Japan has always helped India in the time of crisis they were among the few countries who helped India during the balance of payment crisis in 1991 and India is also the biggest beneficiary of Japan’s overseas development assistance.

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