December 21, 2004


India and Japan cozy up (Indrajit Basu, 12/22/04, Asia Times)

When a high-level business delegation from Japan accompanied the Minister of Trade and Industry Shoichi Nakagawa to India in August, it made Japan-watchers sit up and take note. In contrast to countries such as India and the United States where businessmen often accompany diplomats, it is rare for Japanese businessmen to accompany their political leaders on official visits. And, it was the first time in more than five years that a business delegation from Japan came visiting India.

Both countries, therefore, seized the opportunity to establish a couple of new initiatives that have never been attempted before: six Indian and five Japanese (including one Indo-Japanese joint venture) companies came together to form a non-profit organization called the India-Japan Initiative (IJI) for greater exchange of ideas and business. And, both proposed an Economic Partnership Agreement, which would supposedly go much beyond a vanilla, or ordinary, free trade agreement (FTA). [...]

Japanese Ambassador to India Yasukuni Enoki, who has been spearheading his country's economic and business relations with India ever since he assumed office last year, also said India's emergence as a powerful nation in Asia is important for Japan. The country has never been politically comfortable with China, which makes it necessary for Japanese companies to spread and reduce the risks of their overseas investments that have remained focused largely on China for the last few years.

A worthy task for the President's Second Term would be to more formally establish the Axis of Good.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2004 8:49 AM

This is a very positive development. Japan is looking elsewhere from China for its manufacturing and India needs management in the worst way. Actually,one might argue that since independence India has been managed in the worst way. Also, Indian culture rewards innovation and Japan can always use another source of ideas to copy.

Posted by: Bart at December 21, 2004 10:41 AM