Cooperation with Japan spells trouble for India: Chinese daily

Beijing, May 31 (IANS) Strategic cooperation with Japan "can only bring trouble to India", warned a state-run Chinese daily following Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's three-day visit to Tokyo.

There may be some tacit understanding in strategic cooperation between India and Japan, "given the long-lasting Diaoyu Islands dispute and China-India border confrontation", said an article in the Global Times Thursday.

The article "India gets close to Japan at its own peril" said that "India should keep sober over (Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe administration's vicious intentions of denying the World Anti-Fascism War as a just war".

"East Asian countries that were the victims of the World War II won't indulge Japan. Overheated strategic cooperation with the Abe administration can only bring trouble to India and threaten its relationships with the relevant East Asian countries," it warned.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concluded his visit to Japan Wednesday. The visit came after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's recent trip to India.

"India's efforts to develop its relationship with Japan are part of its `Look East' policy, which has undergone great changes in recent years. In addition to Southeast Asia, the targeted region of the policy has expanded to East Asia and Northeast Asia.

"It has emphasized more cooperation in the fields of strategy and security in addition to economy," said the article by Liu Zongyi, a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a research fellow at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

It noted that India has strengthened economic, strategic and security cooperation with countries like Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

"It has interfered in the South China Sea disputes in a high-profile manner against the backdrop of the US pivot to Asia..."

Pointing out that India and Japan share common ground in developing relations, it said: "Both long for the status of permanent member state of the UN Security Council. Japan and India are theoretically complementary in their economies since India is an emerging economy with a huge potential market but constrained by inadequate capital and backward technology. Both countries have territorial disputes with China and are unhappy with China's rise.

It went on to say that India and Japan hold different attitudes to the priorities of the bilateral relationship.

"For Japan, strategic and security cooperation are more important than economic cooperation...Abe uses infrastructure construction and the buildup of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as bait to sell his promotion of `the arc of freedom and prosperity' and the `democratic security diamond'.

"The Japanese government also encourages enterprises to invest in India with the purpose of reducing Indian dependence on China. However, so far, the results of economic cooperation between India and Japan are not satisfactory," it added.

From New Delhi's perspective, cooperating with Japan in strategy and security is a long-term goal. In the short term, India's main task is to guarantee a peaceful environment to boost the domestic economy, it said.

"Indians well understand that the current India is incomparable to China in strength. The economic ties between China and India are much closer than those between India and Japan. The trade volume between China and India is about four times that of India and Japan."

The article stressed that Indian policymakers are aware of the benefits that being a swing state on the global stage can bring to India.

"...the core of India's diplomacy is maintaining a relative balance among big powers, while the China factor is the best excuse for it to win economic and technological support and assistance from the West. As for the India-Japan relationship, currently, India wants more economic, technological and capital help from Japan."

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