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Karthik asked: How is Japan an indispensable partner in India’s quest for stability and peace in Asia?

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  • Shamshad Ahmad Khan replies: India and Japan, two major democracies in Asia, have been cooperating with each other in various multilateral, regional and bilateral forums. This cooperation is based on shared values of freedom, democracy and rule of law. Both the countries, ever since the institutionalisation of prime ministerial level annual summit meetings in 2006, have enhanced their cooperation in economic and security fields.

    A close look at the joint statements issued by the prime ministers of the two countries over the years, suggest that their objective is to preserve peace and prosperity in the region by sustaining economic growth. Apart from forging complementary economic relations by signing Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which is expected to propel economic growth in both the countries, they are cooperating with each other on maritime affairs as well. Both India and Japan heavily depend on sea lanes for their inbound and outbound trade. They adhere to “freedom of navigation” and unimpeded commerce based on principles of international law. They believe that hindrance in the flow of their goods would adversely impact their economy and over all prosperity. However, the quest for stability and peace is not uni-dimensional. Japan considers India an important and an equal partner in its effort to maintain peace and stability in Asia.