March 5, 2007


The strengthening Japan-India axis (Chietigj Bajpaee, 3/06/07, Asia Times)

In recent years, Japan and India have come out of their self-imposed shells and constraints of history to emerge as increasingly active players on the international stage. Nonetheless, further progress is required if these states are to reach their full potential in the foreign-policy spheres. Japan would have to escape the shackles of its post-World War II pacifist constitution, while India would have to break free of its Cold War non-aligned mentality and Pakistan-centric foreign policy.

With their overlapping values and interests, Japan and India have the potential to assist each other in their foreign-policy objectives. As successful non-Western democracies, they also offer an alternative model or "third way" to conduct international relations to Washington's model of humanitarian intervention and preemptive action and Beijing's model of aid "without conditions" and call for a multipolar world.

In many ways, Japan and India need to undergo a role reversal - Japan needs to distance itself from the United States to be seen as an independent actor, while India needs to move away from its non-aligned mentality, which has often left it "sitting on the fence" of major foreign-policy issues, to forge a closer relationship with the United States.

Instead a declining Japan is just growing closer to America even as India does likewise. There is no Third Way on national security, just us vs. them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 5, 2007 12:10 AM
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