Emperor Akihito’s visit shows shift in India-Japan relations

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Emperor Akihito’s visit shows shift in India-Japan relations - The Times of India


    NEW DELHI: Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will land in India on Saturday on a six-day visit that could mark a watershed in relations between the two countries which are seeking to build a strategic partnership on a strong economic foundation. In a sign of the kind of importance New Delhi attaches to the visit, the government decided on Wednesday that foreign minister Salman Khurshid should be the minister-in-waiting for the emperor who will also visit Chennai.

    Coming as the visit does at a time when both India and Japan believe they have been at the receiving end of Beijing's high-handedness, diplomatic sources were hard-pressed to convince mediapersons that there was no China angle in the emperor choosing to visit India. The fact is that such visits by the emperor, who has no administrative or government related power, are extremely rare and have in the past been used by Tokyo to signal or augment a shift in Japan's foreign policy.

    As sources revealed, it was the Japanese cabinet led by nationalist PM Shinzo Abe which advised the emperor to visit India. There was indeed an invitation from New Delhi but that had been pending for over 10 years. It was only after Abe's Liberal Democratic Party assumed power after the December 2012 elections that there was a move to accept the invitation.

    According to Japan, such visits by the emperor are held on the advice received by the cabinet. There's already a parallel being drawn with emperor Akihito's historic visit to China in 1992 which cemented ties between the two countries. The resultant bonhomie — which also included a sharp increase in aid to China — lasted until the recent conflict between the two countries over Senkaku islands (called Diaoyu in China).

    Japanese sources though described any comparison with the 1992 China visit as a "bit overstretched".

    "The visit has nothing to do with China but we do hope it will be a blessing for the warm relations the two countries already have and that it will upgrade the status of India in the Japanese psyche," said an official.

    It is interesting that Abe's cabinet advised the emperor to visit India as the Japanese PM in the past has often indicated how strongly he wants to build a strategic partnership with India. During his short tenure as PM in 2006, Abe declared that India-Japan ties had the potential to overtake even Japan-US relations. Again, during his visit to India in 2011, Abe told a gathering at the ICWA that "India's success is in Japan's best interests and Japan's success is in the best interests of India".

    India too has shown signs of playing along with Japan. When he felt hard done by this year in Ladakh, where Chinese troops remained stationed on the Indian side of the LAC for weeks, PM Manmohan Singh chose to get his own back by extending his visit to Tokyo by a day in May.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  5. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Japan is on a diplomatic push around Asia unlike we have seen during our lifetime or since WW2 really. There's something fundamental changing in Japan and as an Asian I welcome it.
     
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  6. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Visit by Emperor and Empress to India not aimed at countering China: Japan

    [​IMG]

    New Delhi: Japan today described as "non-political" the visit of its Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko in New Delhi and said the six-day India trip, the first to any South Asian country by the royal couple, was not aimed at "countering" China.

    "The visit should not be interpreted as an effort to counter China. There is no intention whatsoever to counter China through the visit's political significance. The visit is non-political," Sakutaro Tanino, Press Secretary to the Emperor, said.

    The Emperor and Empress arrived in New Delhi today and were received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the Air Force Station at Palam, in a departure from the usual protocol.

    Tanino said Japan was "touched" by Dr Singh's gesture to receive the royal couple at the airport and said that his country wants relations to deepen further.

    In recent times, such a departure from protocol has been done only thrice before by Dr Singh for US
    Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama, and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

    "We were very touched by Prime Minister's gesture. We know he wants the relations between the two countries to grow further," Tanino, who is part of the Emperor's delegation of 50, that included former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, said.

    The visit, which comes 53 years after the couple's trip to India as Crown Prince and Crown Princess in 1960, is first by an Emperor and Empress of Japan to any South Asian country.

    Asked what message will go to China from the visit, the official said it was for Beijing what they will think about the trip. He added that Japan has been having a "difficult relationship" with China.

    Asked whether Japan will do business with Narendra Modi if he becomes Prime Minister, Tanino shot back saying "is there any other option".

    Visit by Emperor and Empress to India not aimed at countering China: Japan | NDTV.com
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is not aimed at China.

    It is merely aimed at beginning the process to cement the ties around China.
     
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  8. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ofcourse, the visit should not be interpreted as an effort to counter China. Maybe, just to sooth Chinese feelings, both Indian and Japan should mention China before every such significant events, even if it is only to suggest that these activities are not targeted against China. :D

    Thank god it was the PM and his wife. Anybody lower, Khurshid for example, would not to do justice to the visiting guest!
     
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  9. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    the PM has received only 5 other dignitaries at Palam air base in 10 years in power... shows the importance we attach to this visit and our relation with japan..!!

    hindi - japani bhai bhai... :p
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is obvious.

    One country wants to eye everyone else's territory & the other believes in peaceful coexistence!

    The visit has immense strategic & economic importance.

    It will change the relationship of the SE and East Asia & that of the Asia Pacific Rim.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
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