Is India going to unite with Japan against China? Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold an online Summit in September, where they plan to sign a major military agreement, the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), and discuss the possibility of some Japanese manufacturing units shifting to India, Hindustan Times reported on 18th. Some Indian media mentioned in their reports that the Summit is to be held against the backdrop of the confrontation on the Sino-Indian border and the rising dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands, suggesting that the two Heads of State had the intention of jointly countering China.
According to Indian media, ACSA is the key to India and Japan extending support and logistics to each other’s military. India has previously signed similar agreements with Australia and the US. If the deal with Japan is completed, it would open up military logistics of the “Quadrilateral” countries – the US, Japan, India and Australia – to each other. The Hindustan Times also quoted an Indian official as saying that Japanese and Indian leaders would have in-depth communication on the Indo-Pacific region and the “challenge” of China. In addition, India may formally invite Japan to participate in the construction of port infrastructure in the Andaman Islands. The India-Japan Summit was due to take place on December 15th to 17th in Guwahati, the largest city in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, but was postponed due to serious protests in India over the amendment to the citizenship law.
The signing of ACSA by India and Japan marks an “unprecedented” strategic deepening of defense cooperation between the two countries, says OneIndia news website. The deal will allow the Indian navy access to a Japanese base in Djibouti for resupply, while Japan’s Maritime Self-defence Force will also have access to military facilities in India’s Andaman Islands. Analysts believe the move will greatly strengthen India’s strategic control over the Indian Ocean region and hedging against China’s influence. In addition, an anonymous source told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao that the Modi government attaches great importance to Japanese companies investing and doing business in India. While not using the phrase “attracting Japanese companies in China”, the source stressed that “India hopes to take advantage of the Japanese government’s earmarking of huge funding for assisting Japanese firms to relocate out of China and attract more Japanese companies to India”. “This will help India achieve a rapid economic recovery and also help Japan optimize its industrial layout”.
Some Indian media reported that “like the current situation in China-India relations”, Abe may be also under pressure from his own Cabinet members to adopt a tough line with China. Concerned about the so-called “expansionist” rise of China in recent years, countries of the “Quadrilateral mechanism” are seeking to reshape the mechanism to make it more effective in “standing up to China,” An expert from the India Observer Foundation, Meera, told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao on Thursday that she believes there is a certain resonance between Japan and India in “uniting against China”, mainly its growing strategic influence and control over the East China Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The Times of India and other media reported on November 18 that informed said that the just concluded meeting of the Government’s “China Study Group” had decided that “the issue of LAC is non-negotiable” and that Indian troops would continue to be deployed in “Eastern Ladakh region” “until China withdrew” from there. India may be about to unleash a new economic crackdown on China.