PM Shinzo Abe’s exit unlikely to alter India-Japan equations

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28

The resignation of India-friendly Japanese PM Shinzo Abe on well being grounds might result in a slight rearranging of the diplomatic calendar however is unlikely to change the chemistry in bilateral ties which were on an upswing for 15 years, mentioned sources.

Though Abe has declined to endorse a successor, sources mentioned all of the possible candidates have favoured shut safety and commerce ties with India at a time when each nations are grappling with an aggressive China. Japan, underneath Abe, was among the many first nations to again India through the Doklam incident.

As an aged politician, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso could possibly be a stop-gap association until the subsequent elections when Shinjiro Koizumi from the younger brigade and Fumio Kishida, Taro Kono and Yoshihide Suga among the many seniors will stake declare.

All of them have a consensus on parking Japan’s large surplus in Indian mega tasks and in mirroring the US strikes to forge nearer safety and defence ties, mentioned sources.

Giving an instance of the unanimity on deployment of Japanese capital, the sources mentioned it was PM Junichiro Koizumi, the daddy of present Cabinet Minister Shinjiro, who pushed for the Bullet Train undertaking. Finally, it was Abe who clinched it after 15 years.

There was a time when Indian resisted the Bullet Train undertaking. Japanese political class unanimously agreed to finance the devoted freight hall tasks as a substitute. Then PM and present contender Taro Aso had accepted the large funding for the undertaking, even when it led to the Japanese quickly shelving their plan to fund the Bullet Train undertaking.

Other attainable successors resembling Fumio Kishida and Yoshihide Suga have labored too carefully with Abe’s overseas coverage strategy for the final eight years to impact a considerable shift.

In defence as effectively, there was erosion of resistance throughout the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to altering the pacifist Constitution. As a end result, Abe ensured that his successors will proceed to strengthen defences and increase army spending. But with India, ties on this sphere haven’t gone past heat phrases, joint naval workout routines and diplomatic consultations on South China Sea on the Quad degree.

Abe’s successor is unlikely to deviate from this path and can be keen to signal a logistic sharing association with India to push it ahead, mentioned sources whereas mentioning that the resignation took interlocutors unexpectedly as they had been aiming at an Abe-Modi summit through videoconferencing on September 10.

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