17 January, 2021

As Circles Collide

Like Japan’s maritime dispute with China, India also has a running border dispute with China.

As Circles Collide

The invitation to be chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations was extended to Shinzo Abe personally by Manmohan Singh over a private dinner in Tokyo that the Japanese PM hosted for the Indian leader and his wife in May 2013 in Tokyo. There were many reasons for Abe’s accepting it. Some were personal and stems from his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, and his attachment to India. Kishi was the first post-war Japanese PM to visit India in 1957 and he never forgot what Jawaharlal Nehru told a crowd while introducing him: “This is the prime minister of Japan, a country I hold in greatest esteem”.

But his personal chemistry with Manmohan is another important factor. I think Abe genuinely believes in what he told a Sapru House gathering in 2007: “A strong India is in the best interest of Japan and a strong Japan is in the best interest of India”. This belief has been gaining wider acceptance in Japan. Abe’s India visit comes shortly after that of the Japanese emperor and empress—two back-to-back high-level visits to a country...



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