22 January, 2021

Great Wall Around A Lotus Blossom

The India-Japan summit is ripe with possibilities, but China casts an unblinking eye on proceedings

Premiers Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi in Varanasi in December 2015
Photograph by Getty Images
Great Wall Around A Lotus Blossom

A coincidence, as they say in dip­lomacy, needs a lot of work. A crucial meeting between the ‘special representatives’ of India and China, barely a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo for the annual bilateral summit with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, might be a coincidence, but is not without significance.

The forthcoming summit has genera­ted much enthusiasm in New Delhi and Tokyo as it is widely speculated that the much-awaited Indo-Japan nuclear agreement will be signed during Modi’s visit. The deal has the potential to change not only relations between the two countries; it can also pave the way for setting up American nuclear reactors in India and give the much required push to the stalled civil nuclear energy sector in the country.

“If the nuclear agreement happens it will be a real big step in Indo-Japan relations,” says Deepa Wadhwa, who was India’s ambassador to Japan till November last year.

But given the complexities of Sino-Japanese relations, especially their...



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