India-Japan in the Indo-Pacific: A Strategic Convergence for Peace, Progress and Prosperity
Dr Anil Rawat

Over the last three decades, with the economic rise of India, Japan, China, Korea, ASEAN combined with Australia and New Zealand, Indo-Pacific has surely emerged as the new theatre of Great Power contest. The idea of Indo-Pacific and its coordinates such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) and Supply Chain Resilience Initiatives (SCRI) are the brain Childs of modern Japan’s visionary Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. With the benefit of his historical insights and political legacies, partnership with India has emerged as the centrepiece in his scheme of global political restructuring. His approach to the concept is truly transcendental. Domestically, the idea seeks to address many of the contentious issues that have persistently dominated the political discourse in Japan related to Asianism, Japan’s identity, war time issues with neighbouring nations and now the pursuit for an autonomous civilisational space. Globally it charts out a pathway for Japan’s role as one of the eminent centres of global politico-economic management in defence of peace, freedom, democracy and well being of the people. It is a vision to provide for Japan’s long term economic security and peaceful coexistence.

Bilaterally, among all the stakeholders in the region, India and Japan hold greater stock of commonality in perspectives and objectives. The fundamental objective is to achieve economic prosperity for the people living in the region with peace, democracy and the rule of law. That entails developing a web of trade and economic ties with resilient and secure supply chains. Both are committed to peaceful solution of all issues rather than any military alliance or any sort of containment strategy. QUAD is seen as an overarching umbrella of like-minded democracies to secure these supply chains and ensure long term prosperity. Soft power projection leading to smart power is the preferred means of achieving this goal.

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