The Japan-India partnership made progress last weekend when the two governments held their first “two plus two meeting,” a security discussion among their foreign and defense ministers. This dialogue is part of strengthened defense cooperation and a deepening convergence of views among the two countries. Geopolitics and economics are drawing Japan and India closer. This is a welcome development, but it is also important to recognize the limits to this process.
Tokyo and New Delhi have been courting each other for some time, but ties took a noticeable step forward in 2014 at a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. Then, they declared bilateral ties constituted a “special strategic and global partnership.” Annual prime ministerial summits followed. When the two men met again at the Group of 20 summit that Abe hosted last summer in Osaka, they agreed to push security ties to the next level.