The fragile India-China ties have deeply impacted India’s Act East policy and India’s position and strength amongst the ASEAN member countries. China enjoys a much higher trade hold than India and also enjoys a high position amongst the ASEAN countries. So will India-Japan relations be able to trump the Chinese power? Will India be able to strengthen its ASEAN position?
Many experts have suggested that stronger India-Japan Relations could be the answer to both problems- ASEAN power and Chinese Dominance. Japan has a great leverage in Southeast Asia through it’s many investments. The country has gained great success in both economic and geopolitics through consistent development plans. Furthermore, ever since President Trump has come into power in the US, Japan is receiving a stronger leadership role in all of Asia. Japan has also outdone China in terms of infrastructure by offering higher quality.
India-Japan Relations and Japan’s ASEAN Power
Japan has proven to be a great influence within the ASEAN member countries. The fact that most ASEAN member countries have a much lower wage rate than China and Japanese businesses within China have faced challenges, the possibility of JAPAN shifting businesses to ASEAN member countries has increased.
India-Japan relations go long back and the the Japanese have been actively participating in many projects in India. Japan has recently also began funding the construction of roads in the North east region in India, focusing on a link to Myanmar and Bangladesh. After the successful Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor, a similar Chennai-Bengaluru project is also being evaluated. Experts believe that strengthening India-Japan relations could give a boost to India’s Act East policy. It is also believed that a strategic partnership between the two could also enhance the ASEAN strength for both countries.
India needs to re-strategize and evaluate its current ASEAN position and take counter steps to gain more power and influence. India-Japan relations could bring in economic and geopolitical strength for both nations and an alliance could lead to a greater foothold.