FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Love in Tokyo: Will an India-Japan partnership via the bullet train put New Delhi on the right track?
Posted:Sep 17, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
By Chidanand Rajghatta 
 
India and Japan appear to have put their geo-strategic ties on a fast track with the launch of a “bullet train” project in western India. Costing a trifling $17 billion, a third of India’s annual defence budget, the train is seen in some quarters as a “magic bullet” to restore the infrastructural vitality in India that has all but derailed. But can it be a “silver bullet” against growing Chinese hegemony in the region and beyond? At any time, it is difficult to compartmentalise foreign relations. Nations, as much as train bogies, are interlinked. But of late, there is geo-political train wreck in Asia arising from the inability of US-China-India-Japan – the world’s top four economies – to objectively quadrangulate ties.
 
The US, which used to love Pakistan during the Cold War because India lined up with USSR (after getting sidetracked by Washington) now courts New Delhi, which fears China, which in turn loves Pakistan but dislikes Japan, which reciprocates the feeling and has reached out to India. Rebuffed by the US Pakistan, whose entire existence is premised on being not India, now loves Russia and China. The Koreas, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and others are bit players in this clamorous geo-political junction.
 
While some critics may castigate New Delhi for having a tunnel vision vis-à-vis Japan – considering China remains a major engine of growth for the world economy – supporters of bullet train diplomacy see in Tokyo a light at the end of the tunnel. They say both US-India and US-Japan relations are running out of steam – and esteem, given Trump’s ticket-to-ride diplomacy – and it is best for New Delhi to streamline its policy along an Asian axis. India can also draw in other nations such as Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea that have problems with China and its client states Pakistan and North Korea, living on the wrong side of the tracks.
 
Beijing though is neither sweating bullets nor blowing steam, given that it now runs a gravy train with bells and whistles to boot. It has railroaded many countries into running behind it. Even the mighty US has had to bite the bullet on occasion, in tune with the American comic who observed that when Washington was in serious danger of defaulting on its loans Beijing showed up – and broke the Statue of Liberty’s kneecaps. India and Japan need to stand up more firmly to Beijing than Washington can.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
A top Chinese Army official on Sunday said negotiations with the Indian Army paved the way for the resolution of the Doklam stand-off on the India-China border.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
As about-turns in the three-year-old BJP government go, this must be among the shortest and most important tweets issued by any BJP leader. And although Prime Minister Modi spent Diwali with soldiers in Gurez less than a week ago, it was left to Home minister Rajnath Singh to announce a major policy shift on Jammu & Kashmir at 4 pm
 
read-more
  In his report at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping redefined the principal contradiction facing Chinese society in the new era, namely between unbalanced, inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. Providing this better life has become
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In snap polls in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition has secured a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive