A week after signing a security pact with China, India is all set to discuss a number of agreements with Japan reportedly aimed at countering Chinese influence in the region

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  • Narendra Modi is set to sit down with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo between 28 and 29 October to sign a range of military and infrastructure agreements.
  • In addition to a joint infrastructure programme, Japan is expecting to commence negotiations with India on a deal wherein it will get access to India’s military bases and vice versa.
  • The bilateral summit comes a week after India signed an unprecedented security cooperation pact with China.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to sit down with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo between 28 and 29 October to sign a range of military and infrastructure agreements, according to media reports.

While a major priority of the talks will be to secure a second round of funding for India’s bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the issue of military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region will also be broached as well as the commencement of a joint infrastructure programme, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, in the region.

The AAGC is said to be positioned as a counterweight to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. India and Japan will also explore collaboration opportunities on infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan — all places where China has development initiatives in operation.

Further, Japan is expecting to commence negotiations with India on a deal wherein it will get access to India’s military bases and vice versa. The potential logistics-sharing agreement, which was confirmed by a Japanese government official as per a Reuters report, is aimed at shoring up the defenses of both countries as they deal with China’s increasing naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

Diplomacy is an interesting game. The summit comes a week after India signed an unprecedented security cooperation pact with China.

The bilateral agreement covered a range of issues such as counter-terrorism operations, narcotics trading, intelligence sharing, natural disaster relief efforts as well as China’s construction activities in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). From China’s point of view, the deal will secure India’s help with its development efforts across South Asia.

It gets better.

Abe will be meeting Modi a few days after the first Japan-China summit since 2011. The rapprochement between the two countries comes against the backdrop of the US’s increasing trade protectionism.

However, India isn’t too worried about Japan-China ties. Vijay Gokhale, India’s Foreign Secretary, said that the meeting between Abe and Xi Jinping would have no bearing on his summit with Modi. In fact, he added that the improvement in ties between Japan and China would bode well for regional stability.
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