current topics

Papers on Japan-India Cooperation
submitted to Indo-Japan Security Dialogue 2019

1 Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

2 The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan

3 Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

4 India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute

1 Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision

Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

There are two precise driving forces behind the rationale for PM Abe's Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy of Japan: the rise of China and the relative decline of the U.S. influence in Asia. Through governmental and non-governmental interactions between the American and Japanese security policy community, Japan's strategic thinking has been shaped as the FOIP vision.

What is Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision?

Japan's first commitment to the FOIP strategy was stated in PM Abe's speech at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Nairobi, Kenya on August 27, 2016. Here, PM Abe emphasized the importance of connectivity between the Indian Ocean, the seas of Asia and the Pacific Ocean; as well as values of freedom and the rule of law.

It read: Japan bears the responsibility of fostering the confluence of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and of Asia and Africa into a place that values freedom, the rule of law, and the market economy, free from force or coercion, and making it prosperous.

However, the speech did not include two critical strategic thoughts, i.e., balancing the rise of China and a hedge against the relative retrenchment by the U.S. as the world hegemon.

Regarding this speech, many experts have pointed out that there are two strategic goals behind the rational of the FOIP. The first goal is PM Abe's diplomatic motto of "diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map". This can be seen in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) after PM Abe's visit to Europe from April 29 to May 7, 2014. It stated that Europe – which serves as a connecting point, linking together the regions of the world, including Africa, Latin America and the Middle East – is indeed a powerful partner of PM Abe with regards to "diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the word map".

The second goal, is PM Abe's realist and geopolitical thinking in his essay, "Asia's Democratic Security Diamond," on December 27, 2012.

Peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the Pacific Ocean are inseparable from peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean. Japan, as one of the oldest sea-faring democracies in Asia, should play a greater role – alongside Australia, India, and the US – in preserving the common good in both regions.

He states that Japan's priority is "to expand the country's strategic horizons." Therefore, he "envisages a strategy whereby Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S. state of Hawaii form a diamond to safeguard the maritime commons, stretching from the Indian Ocean Region to the western Pacific."

In terms of realist thinking, the FOIP strategy is based on an element of balance of power. Yet, the FOIP also has a liberal approach to provide and maintain global commons in the region. With regards to this, either approach, i.e., the realist approach and the liberal approach are not mutually exclusive. Rather, the liberal approach assumes two positive effects to attain the balance of power eventually.

The first effect: this approach is supported by liberal experts both within and outside of Japan, who were apprehensive of growing tensions and the security dilemma between Japan and China. The liberal logic is to share common public goods in the region, thus allowing for it to be accepted even amongst proponents that are pro-China.

The second effect: the liberal approach is an effective tool to counter China's own "charm offence" as China expands its financial assistance to developing countries across the world through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is not a coincidence that PM Abe's first FOIP strategy address was presented at TICAD, as Japan has been seriously engaged in the provision of development assistance to African countries.

Thus, PM Abe's FOIP strategy has two elements:

  1. Liberal elements such as Japan's cooperation aimed at the development and stability in Asia and Africa.
  2. Realist elements such as counter-balancing the rise of China, while also providing more resources to maintain the international liberal order. This becomes even more important due to the relative retrenchment of the U.S., as it pursues its "America First" slogan.

Continuing to engage the Trump Administration

The Government of Japan was apprehensive about President Donald Trump's stance on the U.S. - Japan alliance, his commitment to U.S. security in Asia, and his trade protectionist policies. Japan was further worried after Trump vowed to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Japan and the Obama administration had considered as a core tool of the U.S. rebalance to Asia. Especially in order to influence China to cooperate with the common rules based order.

In 1987, Donald Trump as a wealthy business man who was paid U.S. $94,801 to run advertisements in several U.S. major newspapers such as the New York Times. "For decades, Japan and other nations have been taking advantage of the United States. The saga continues unabated as we defend the Persian Gulf, an area of only marginal significance to the United States for its oil supplies, but one upon which Japan and others are almost totally dependent." "It's time for us to end our vast deficits by making Japan and others who can afford it, pay."

PM Abe's willingness to maintain relations with the unpredictable U.S. leader can be seen in the first official joint statement released by the U.S. and Japan in February 2018. This statement confirmed strong security ties between Japan and the U.S. -

Amid an increasingly difficult security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States will strengthen its presence in the region, and Japan will assume larger roles and responsibilities in the alliance. …..The United States and Japan will further enhance cooperation with allies and partners in the region. The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining international order based upon the rule of law.i

The U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) 2017 states that "a geopolitical competition between free and repressive visions of world order is taking place in the Indo-Pacific region" and it defines the region as that "which stretches from the west coast of India to the western shores of the United States". It confirms that a free and open Indo-Pacific has been and continues to be in the interest of the U.S.

Further, the NSS directly shows concern over China's regional influence through its BRI.

Although the United States seeks to continue to cooperate with China, China is using economic inducements and penalties, influence operations, and implied military threats to persuade other states to heed its political and security agenda. China's infrastructure investments and trade strategies reinforce its geopolitical aspirations. Its efforts to build and militarize outposts in the South China Sea endanger the free flow of trade, threaten the sovereignty of other nations, and undermine regional stability.

On November 6, 2017, prior to the release of the U.S. NSS, President Trump visited Japan and agreed on the Free and Open Indo-Pacific(FOIP) strategy with PM Abe. According to the statement released by Japan's MoFA, the two leaders confirmed that a free and open maritime order, based on the rule of law, was the cornerstone for peace and prosperity for the international community. The leaders further stressed the importance of the Indo-Pacific region as a vital region in the world. They agreed that Japan and the U.S. would work together to promote peace and prosperity in the region by developing the Indo-Pacific as free and open.

Japan and U.S. security experts happen to conclude a similar regional security strategy: Network security

Former Foreign Minister of Japan, Yoriko Kawaguchi (Koizumi Cabinet, 2002-04) and former Administrative Vice Minister of Defense, Masahiro Akiyama (1997-98) conducted a study group and co-authored a publication titled the "Future Perspective of Asia-Pacific". This was done to explore Japan's strategic sphere in the Trump era.

Kawaguchi stated that the 21st century would no longer function under only one hegemonic country. The common consensus reached by the study group was that the function of the hegemon to provide the international community with public goods, should now be shared with a network of like-minded nations. Considering the relative decline of the U.S., the rise of China, the increasing diversity in security issues, and the rapid development of technology, there was a common consensus in this study, on the importance of doing so.

The study group named the structure Pax Amicitia, and it aimed to attain peace through a "network hegemony". Since peaceful development in the Asia-Pacific region cannot be attained without the U.S. and China, like-minded nations should create the frameworks, wherein the U.S. and China can participate as well. The project concluded that since Japan is the most influential country to both the U.S. and China, as well as the most influenced country by both the U.S. and China, it is Japan that should take the initiative and burden of creating this network in the Asia Pacific.

Simultaneously, U.S. think-tank, Center for New American Security (CNAS) had been working on the Networking Asian Security project, and its report was released in June 2017. The report similarly shares the fundamental assumption that that state power is no longer solely or even primarily defined by its individual material attributes.

It describes the Asia Pacific region as the place where China is increasing its assertiveness through its military modernization initiatives. A further challenge to this region is from North Korea, whose erratic foreign policy behavior can be gauged by its development of nuclear weapons, its cyberattacks, and trafficking of narcotics.

The report focuses on the importance of nodes in a web of states. These nodes would function as actors that would connect states with each other. They see Japan and Australia as two emerging natural nodes, which would connect partners in the Asia-Pacific. Definitely, the CNAS report proposes that the U.S. should "focus on embedding the U.S. alliances and nascent security relationship into a broader network of security partner."

Indeed, those two projects, which were simultaneously conducted both in Japan and the U.S. share a lot of common features. In addition, both sides expect and encourage Japan's pro-active role in Asia's security network.

The expectation on the role of India

India is a unique independent power, which has shared interests in the regional stability of the Indo-Pacific region. This enables India to develop its traditional democracy and economy. Additionally, India has also been improving its relations with the U.S. as an economic partner.

Japan and India share an interest in assisting the U.S. commitment to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. India, as a major non-Western democracy and power, has been a special partner to Japan throughout history. Japan needs a strategic partner, which shares common values of democracy, human rights, free trade and a market economy, to cope with the rise of China and an unpredictable U.S. Further, Japan and India could share their experiences with regards to coping with a difficult neighbor, China, and a global hegemon, the U.S.

However, the question as to how one can shape China is complex, and it cannot simply be dealt with by adopting Cold War containment policies. There needs to be wisdom and flexibility in order to shape China's future trajectory, and it has to be achieved without sacrificing the current world economic prosperity and stability. This may aide in

understanding how to deal with the uncertain commitment from the U.S. in the region.

2 The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific

Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan

Chemistry between Modi and Abe

After becoming Prime Minister of India in May 2014, Mr. Narendra Modi has shown two different characteristics. On the one hand, he has been highly active as a business leader in aiming to achieve India's national economic growth. His experience as former Chief Minister of Gujarat enables this. On the other hand, as the leader of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), he is also known to be a Hindu nationalist, with a pre-disposition for exclusionary policies. In terms of foreign and security policy, the former aspect is reflected in his eagerness to attract investments even from China in order to realise his ‘Make in India' initiative. The latter can be seen in the hard-line measures he has adopted as a reaction to terrorist attacks from Pakistan, as well as with regards to Chinese incursions or attempts to change the status quo by force.

Interestingly, Mr. Shinzo Abe, a fellow nationalist and business friendly leader, found himself well received by Modi. Both leaders share a number of pertinent things in common: values of nationalism, threat perceptions posed by an assertive China, and their growth strategies; ‘Abenomics' and ‘Modinomics'. As can be seen from the above, it has been quite natural that bilateral relations between India and Japan have expanded and deepened based on the personal chemistry between Modi and Abe.

Modi's positive response to the ‘Indo-Pacific'

Like the former UPA government, the Modi government, for more than one year after its founding, was also careful to avoid officially adopting the term ‘Indo-Pacific' as a strategic concept of the U.S. Nonetheless, Modi was keen to develop much closer ties with major advocators of the ‘Indo-Pacific' from the beginning. And progressive steps towards adopting the term ‘Indo-Pacific' were to be seen.

PM Modi selected Japan as his first trip outside South Asia. In September 2014, during his visit to Tokyo, he agreed to upgrade India-Japan relations to that of a ‘Special' Strategic and Global Partnership. The significance of the term ‘Special' can be gauged by the fact that just two months prior to this meeting, Japan and Australia in their joint statement also adopted the term ‘Special'.

In November 2014, Modi also became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia. The following year, Modi went on to welcome U.S. President, Obama, as the chief guest of India's Republic Day parade. Finally, in September 2015, amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, the Modi government officially adopted the term ‘Indo-Pacific'. This was done in a joint media note, after the inaugural U.S.-India-Japan Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue held in New York.

Since then, the Modi government has had no hesitation in using and referencing the term ‘Indo-Pacific'. In 2015, India welcomed the Japanese Maritime Defense Force to participate as a regular/permanent member in the Malabar exercise. Following the inaugural India-U.S.- 2+2 dialogue last September, Modi also promised to establish an India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. In November 2017, the Quadrilateral Framework, an idea originally proposed by Abe as the ‘Security Diamond' was revitalized at a senior official's meeting in Manila. Finally, on the side-lines of the G20 last November, Modi, Abe and Trump met for the first trilateral summit meeting.

Modi's emphasis on ‘strategic autonomy'

Albeit this steady progress, there should be no misunderstanding that India under the Modi administration is willing to join the alliance with the U.S., Japan or Australia. Mr. S. Jaishankar - Modi's close aide and the former Foreign Secretary – down played the significance of the ‘Quad' and clearly stated that ‘rigid alliances will be avoided'. However, the BJP manifesto in 2014 did emphasize the necessity of building a ‘web of allies', but not any specific alliance.

Thereafter, Modi himself assured the international community that India would never see the ‘Indo-Pacific' as a strategic concept for containing China and that India would never join any alliances. Emphasizing this position, his keynote address at the Shangri-la Dialogue last June, reiterated the term "strategic autonomy". Given the Trump administration's protectionist policies and unilateralism on security issues, it is becoming increasingly important for India to maintain strategic relations with China and Russia. This can be seen, as last year Modi accepted an offer to take part in an ‘informal summit' at Wuhan and Sochi, as well as the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral summit meeting held on the side-lines of the G20 summit.

New prospects for India-Japan cooperation in the ‘Indo-Pacific'

Against this background, Abe's visit to Beijing last October, was the first time a Japanese prime minister had visited China in the last seven years. Abe's approach to mend relations with China, according to Indian Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale, can be seen as a good move for India-Japan relations. From an Indian viewpoint, improved Japan-China relations would create an environment conducive for boosting ties with Japan without affecting its relations with China.

Considering that Japan's military contribution to peace and stability is constrained by its constitution, what would be the most promising and beneficial areas of cooperation between India and Japan in the ‘Indo-Pacific'? At this point, it would be wise to keep in mind that most of India's immediate and extended neighbours in the Indo-Pacific, especially in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) are "fragile", financially and politically. And it is with many of these fragile states that China can be seen expanding its influence by making use of its enormous wealth.

In this process, some nations have been caught in the so-called Chinese ‘debt trap'. A key example of this being the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. Further, it is not clear whether the new ‘pro-India' administration in the Maldives will see a way out of their debt with China, although the Modi government decided to provide financial assistance worth U.S. $1.4 billion. This is equivalent to over one-third of its total debt with China.

In order to realise the vision of a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific', it is essential to provide these fragile Indian neighbours with an alternative for their development. The India-Japan joint initiative, the ‘Asia-Africa Growth Corridor' (AAGC) was announced in May 2017. This was just after India boycotted the Belt and Road Forum Summit. While the AAGC is yet to be substantialized, the ‘Fact Sheet' on ‘India-Japan Development Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including Africa' did highlight limited examples of cooperation, such as LNG-related infrastructure in Sri Lanka. As such, it would be beneficial for India and Japan to cooperate with each other in order to extricate Indian neighbours from the ‘debt trap', but also to offer open and transparent financing and development projects.

Fortunately, Japan has maintained friendly relations with almost all nations in the Indian Ocean Region. Japan has not been seen as a power with an aim to establish its hegemony amongst some of the fragile Indian Ocean states. This makes it possible and essential for Japan to contribute financially and politically to welfare, stability and democratisation in the region. This kind of cooperation will be a step toward a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific' order.

3 Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context
- Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –

Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

1. Introduction

It is almost a cliché that Europe is a landscape; East Asia a seascape.1 As an island country situated on the eastern periphery of the Asian continent, Japan focuses more on the maritime facet of this region than on the continental one, particularly in security terms today.

However, Asia in its entirety is maritime as well as continental. In fact, most of the top 15 largest armies of the world, including those of India, Pakistan and China, are located in Asia.

Although Japan's vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) is based on the recognition that the key to the stability and prosperity of the international community is the dynamism created by the synergy between the two continents – Asia and Africa – and two oceans – the Pacific and the Indian2, it is quite clear that the emphasis of FOIP is on the maritime sphere as the three pillars of the vision include, among others, freedom of navigation and capacity building on maritime law enforcement.3 When Japan declares its intention to help improve the connectivity of Asia, the Middle East and Africa to promote the regional peace and stability, the focus of the connectivity is a maritime one.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan notes that "The Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy is open to every country that supports this idea and is ready to work with us.4 This is an important message to describe the two facets of the FOIP: competition and cooperation. Incidentally, it is not difficult to find a number of commonalities between Japan's FOIP and India's Act East Policy. Prime Minister Modi's messages that the cooperation between "the world's two most populous countries5 is expanding, and that "the two countries have displayed maturity and wisdom in managing issues and ensuring a peaceful border," and that "Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together in trust and confidence, sensitive to each other's interests,"6 are subtle expressions of India's policy of competition and cooperation with China. In fact, he states, "by no means do we consider it7 as directed against any country," and "competition is normal. But, contests must not turn into conflict; differences must not be allowed to become disputes."8

India and China share a disputed border of more than 4,000 km and the fragile nature of peace on its land border with China was highlighted by the Doklam stand-off in the summer of 2017.9 It is also said that India's focus on the maritime sphere surrounding India is restricted because of "a manifest power differential with China."10 If these are the situations on land and at sea involving India, then careful policy coordination between India and Japan in order to generate synergies between the FOIP and Act East, would be critical for the common security of the two countries.

With this in mind, I would like to discuss the following three points: first, "Indo-Pacific" as a key concept; second, recent development of Japan's national security and defense policy based on the FOIP vision; and third, some policy recommendations on how Japan and India could enhance their security and defense partnership particularly at sea.

2. The concept of "Indo-Pacific"

In the late twentieth century, people began to use the term "Asia-Pacific" against the backdrop of first, the growth of East Asia as an engine of the world growth, and second, the necessity to fully integrate the U.S. to the Asian affairs and to indicate that the U.S. is an integral part of the region.

Now, the new term "Indo-Pacific" is rapidly replacing "Asia-Pacific." If you compare these two terms, two points are notable in the new one. First, the "Indo-Pacific" clearly portrays that the two oceans are naturally connected. It is an honest expression of geography. Prime Minister Modi is exactly right in stating that the Indo-Pacific is a natural region.11 Second, more importantly, it is a clear expression of the rise of India as an integral part of the region and it corresponds to its "Act East" policy. Obviously, the weight of India in the new nomenclature is much greater than that of the U.S. in the old moniker. The new expression epitomizes the new reality.

The "Indo-Pacific" is also instrumental to highlight the strategic importance of the South China Sea as the nexus of the two oceans. This point is worthy of mention particularly today, now that the political momentum to condemn China's contempt of the rules-based maritime order in the South China Sea, once generated by the award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2016, has been completely lost and even the historic ruling became just history.

As sea-going officers have kept saying, the sea is one.12 By explicitly showing the connectivity of the two oceans, the expression of "Indo-Pacific" also tells us the interconnected character of the global waterways even beyond the "Indo-Pacific." This interconnected character of the sea requires that the governing rule is also one. When FOIP emphasizes the rule of law, this point should be more emphasized in order to regain the lost momentum to condemn China's assertive behaviors in the South China Sea.

In spite of the indisputability of the maritime domain's interconnected character, the importance of the Indian Ocean could not be overstated. Looking back at history, one can say that Japan was opened to the world in the mid-nineteenth century through the Indian Ocean because both Commodore Mathew Perry and Townsend Harris sailed over from the U.S. to Japan; this was done not across the Pacific, but through the Indian Ocean. Before arriving in Japan, Commodore Perry had been titled Commander-in-Chief, U.S. "East India" Squadron. During the Napoleonic War in Europe, even half a century in advance of Commodore Perry's voyage to Japan, the Dutch "East India" Company had contracted neutral American vessels to avoid British interference with their Nagasaki trade.13

Strategic importance of the connectivity of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean is not new. It was obvious even in the Cold War days to ensure free flow of forces between the Asia-Pacific region, which is the home of the U.S. Pacific Forces and the turbulent Middle East. However, contemporary importance of the Indian Ocean comes from different considerations, particularly, China's maritime expansion and non-traditional security challenges including international terrorism and proliferation of WMDs. In this sense, the concept of the "Indo-Pacific" represents both geographical and eternal truth, as well as the new realities of the contemporary world.

It is not an institution, it is a strategic concept. However, there is no single, well-articulated strategy of the Indo-Pacific; it is an emerging concept. Like-minded countries can cooperate with each other under the banner of the Indo-Pacific as far as their interests and the principles they uphold overlap. As India and Japan share large interests in restoring and preserving the peace and stability of the entire region, the imperative of the bilateral security cooperation is inevitable and its potential is enormous.

While Biren Nanda argues, "Together with India, Japan bookends the region and plays a vital role as a balancer, an economic engine for regional prosperity and a force for stability,"14 it is not the Indo-Pacific region that both countries bookend. Of course, it all depends on the geographical definition of the term, but his statement highlights two important points. One, is the strategic intention behind the term, which is common to both countries. Addressing China is the most serious common challenge of the two nations. The other point is, the limit of sharing strategic scope. Harsh Pant and Abhijnan Rej argue, "India has significant interests in the western Pacific and in the South China Sea (SCS)".15 They go on to summarize that the Indian Maritime Security Strategy of 2015 states that India's primary areas of maritime interest includes the western Indian Ocean and all of India's territorial waters and sea lines of communication. Further, its secondary areas of maritime interest include the southeastern Indian Ocean, South and East China Seas, and the western Pacific.16 But in fact the Pacific extends far eastwards, and the Government of Japan is more attentive to the Pacific island nations.

After the Australia-India-Japan-U.S. consultations on the Indo-Pacific in November 2018, each member country of the quadrilateral consultations issued a separate statement, and unlike the other three states, the Indian statement did not mention the Pacific Islands Forum. It suggests different views on the Indo-Pacific among the four. Japan's security interests in the Pacific islands nations are also shown in the new National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) of December 2018.

The security challenges both nations face in common are so diverse that the two nations must expand their strategic scope flexibly without dwelling on the geographic definition, but they also need to understand the difference in scope.

3. Recent development of Japan's national security and defense policy

In December 2013, the Abe cabinet concluded and released its first defense policy document called "National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG)," in which defense cooperation and exchange was highlighted as one of the important instruments of the cabinet's policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on "diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map." NDPG of 2013 states, "Japan will strengthen its relationship with India in a broad range of fields, including maritime security, through joint training and exercises as well as joint implementation of international peacekeeping activities."17 This part was placed after the sections emphasizing cooperation with South Korea, Australia, China, Russia, and Southeast Asian countries. The newly established NDPG of December 2018 states, "With India, in view of enhancing strategic partnership and by utilizing frameworks such as "2+2," Japan will promote joint training and exercises and defense equipment and technology cooperation in a broad range of areas including maritime security. Japan will also strengthen cooperation among Japan, India and the United States."18 This paragraph comes only next to the paragraph on cooperation with Australia. The difference of the description between these two versions is a clear sign of the rapid progress of Japan's security engagement with India in the recent years.

The main rationales of the renewal of the NDPG in December 2018 are the following three points: accelerating and more complex changes in the balance of power in the international arena; increasing uncertainty over the existing order; and rapid expansion in the use of new domains, i.e., space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum.19 In addressing these new aspects of the international security environment, Japan and India will be able to and should enhance their bilateral security and defense cooperation to generate synergy between the FOIP and Act East Policy.

4. Potential pathways for operationalizing the "Special Strategic and Global Partnership"

The bilateral partnership between the two countries has been elevated from a Global Partnership, to a Strategic and Global Partnership, and even to a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Accordingly, the institutional framework for security and defense cooperation and exchanges has been established in recent years: a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2008; a memorandum on Japan-India Defense Cooperation and Exchanges in 2014; and an agreement concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology as well as GSOMIA in 2015. Both militaries have accumulated the experience of exchanges and cooperation on the basis of these official frameworks, including high-level exchanges, e.g. ministerial level and military chief of staff level; regular talks between defense ministry representatives, e.g. service level and sub-cabinet level; and unit level. As mentioned in the Japan-India Summit Meeting on October 29, 2018, both nations see some more significant progress in defense and security cooperation today, including the launching of a "2+2" Ministerial Meeting, commencement of the negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), and the creation of an implementing arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Japanese Maritime Defense Force and the Indian Navy.20

By capitalizing on this momentum, both countries should further proceed with strengthening their security ties to operationalize their common visions. Maritime security cooperation should be at the center of the bilateral collaboration as maritime connectivity is the key to the cohesion of the Indo-Pacific and for global prosperity. In order to enhance maritime security cooperation between Japan and India, I would like to conclude this paper with the following five policy recommendations:

First, the importance of the South China Sea must be highlighted as the nexus of the two oceans. The South China Sea is not just about territorial disputes or about China and the Philippines. The South China Sea is a testing ground of the basic norm of international law: "Agreements are binding." Unwavering efforts to keep the issue alive and to raise China's reputation cost are must. In this regard, those who uphold the rule of law must be aware of China's assertion that more than 100,000 merchant ships pass through the South China Sea every year and that none of them have ever run into any difficulty with freedom of navigation.21 Advocates of the rules-based order must unite in disclosing the fallacy of this bogus argument.

Second, assistance toward weak littoral states of the Indo-pacific region including Southeast Asians nations, to enhance their maritime security capacity and capability should be multilaterally orchestrated. Both Japan and India should play larger roles in concert. As a part of this effort, both countries may want to develop weaponry which meets the requirements of those developing countries in Southeast Asia.

The traditional security agenda can be addressed only by traditional means, i.e. balance of power. Concerted efforts to retrieve the balance of power particularly at sea in East Asia by preventing a power vacuum from being generated is a must for the stability of the entire Indo-Pacific. The history of the South China Sea for the past seventy years shows that China has always capitalized on a power vacuum for its southward maritime expansion. The lesson is "Do not create a power vacuum!" However, capacity building assistance will require a long time to bear fruits, and therefore, enhancement of the presence by like-minded countries including Japan and India, unilaterally and jointly, will be also valuable in the short run.

Third, international awareness of China's interference operations toward developing countries and fragile open societies must be raised. This is important as economic cooperation and development to meet the demand for infrastructure, including sea ports and related transportation networks of roads and railways, to connect ports and inland areas must be free from China's impossible debt burden. Intelligence cooperation is necessary, but more importantly the truth about what the Chinese are doing toward those weak states must be disclosed to the international public.

Fourth, workable mechanisms for crisis management at sea should be established as competition which possibly turns to confrontation, is inevitable. From a whole-of-government perspective, both military and law enforcement organizations must be involved in a larger inclusive mechanism for crisis management at sea. In this context, collaboration between the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) would be worthy of exploring in pursuing such an inclusive mechanism. Expertise of the two symposiums, including WPNS's expertise on Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) should be fully shared and effectively utilized.

Fifth and finally, arms and technology cooperation between the two countries should be promoted. The Japan-India Joint Vision Statement of October 29, 2018 states, "Cooperation between Japan and India on defence equipment and technology holds immense scope and potential for strengthening technological capability and industrial infrastructure through joint efforts between the public and private sectors."22 Although this statement refers to the continuous bilateral "efforts with regard to cooperation on US-2 amphibian aircraft,"23 a wide gap of views on both sides regarding the priority and price seems to be preventing the progress of cooperation for a long time. As such, both sides should work on other attractive items, such as robotics, as mentioned in the Joint Vision Statement.24 They should even explore cooperation for ship building, aircraft manufacturing and electronics for civilian sectors, which will eventually be instrumental in enhancing India's military industrial basis.

4 India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?

Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute

Since the 2000s, India-US-Japan security cooperation has intensified quite significantly. It was especially symbolic that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the first trilateral summit in 2018. The US military forces (all Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard) have already held joint exercises with Japan and India. Arms trade and joint development projects are ongoing between the US and India. And for the first time, India and Japan have started a joint arms development project in 2018. India-US-Japan security cooperation is going well. But what should the next steps be? To answer that, we must first ask three questions: (1) What is the purpose of India-US-Japan security cooperation? (2) How can we achieve that purpose? (3) What problems might get in the way of greater cooperation?

1. What is the purpose of India-US-Japan security cooperation?

India-US-Japan security cooperation has advanced in the aftermath of problems with China. Maintaining a military balance to counter China's expansion is a top priority of all three countries and cannot be overlooked. There are three areas especially where India-US-Japan cooperation can help maintain a military balance with China. First, because India and Japan are located on opposite sides of China, this trilateral security arrangement can rectify their respective numerical inferiority. For example, if India cooperates with the US and Japan, it will create a bulwark against Chinese fighter jet superiority because China would be likely to keep some of its fighter jets in the east to counter the US and Japan, and vice versa. Second, if India has the required will and capabilities, the US and Japan will be able to release themselves from the heavy burden of safeguarding security in the Indian Ocean and can deploy more military forces in the East China Sea and South China Sea to maintain military balance. Third, if India, the US, and Japan collaborate successfully, they can support countries around the South China Sea more effectively. Creating a situation that maintains military balance in the region will be the purpose of this defense cooperation.

2. To achieve these goals, what should we do?

To maintain military balance against China, there are at least three methods we should use. First, the three countries should coordinate their political messages. What happened in the Doklam incident in 2017 was a good example. When Indo-China border tension rose on August 15, the Japanese ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatu, stated that no side should seek to change the status quo by force.ii Because India had blamed Beijing for changing the status quo on June 30, this remark signaled unequivocal support for India and Bhutan. Similarly, after the Pulwama terrorist attack in India on February 14, 2019, the White House issued a statement calling on Pakistan "to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil."iii This statement indicated that the US stands with India in condemning Pakistan. If India, the US, and Japan can coordinate their political messages toward China, their stances will be stronger and more effective.

Second, India, the US, and Japan can coordinate military activities against China. If China cannot concentrate its forces at the Indo-China border, it cannot commence military offensive operations against India. Dispatching a US aircraft carrier alongside Japan's helicopter carrier for the annual Malabar Naval Exercise during the Doklam incident achieved good results.iv The US and Japan can use similar measures in a future crisis. As a good means to dissuade China, the US and Japan should draw China's attention toward the US-Japan side instead of toward India. For example, if the US and Japan deployed their warships and warplanes in the Senkaku Islands, China would deploy more forces to Japan rather than to India. If Japan joined the Freedom of Navigation Operation of the US Navy in the South China Sea, China could not concentrate its military forces at the Indo-China border area.

If we try such a collaboration, India, the US, and Japan might coordinate more deeply and build more trust going forward. Can we do that successfully? India and the US, and India and Japan have already signed bilateral agreements to share sensitive information (General Security of Military Information Agreements, or GSOMIA)v. During the Doklam incident, the US provided information to India regarding the movements of Chinese armed forces.vi The US has also provided information related to Chinese submarine activities in the Indian Ocean.

The US and India have already signed two agreements related to logistics (the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, or LEMOA) and secure communications (the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement, or COMCASA). And now India and Japan are negotiating a logistics support agreement (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, or ACSA). After concluding the LEMOA and ACSA, Indian armed forces will have access to US and Japanese bases in order to expand their military power projection. Although the purpose of these agreements is not related to military coordination in times of crisis, the agreements and the related joint exercises will allow for easier cooperation in such instances.

Building military-related infrastructure is also useful for security cooperation. For example, Japan is investing in a strategic road-building project in northeast India. Although the construction area is not in Arunachal Pradesh in India, a region that China also claims, the new road project will allow the Indian army to deploy more force to the Indo-China border area. Such types of infrastructure projects are useful for military cooperation, and will promote deeper India-US-Japan coordination.

Third, the three countries should share equipment and infrastructure to strengthen their long-term relationship. To do so, India, the US, and Japan should increase arms trade and implement joint weapons-development projects. In the case of India and the US, India has already imported equipment such as transport planes, helicopters, and airlift howitzers related to the creation of the 17 Corps of the Indian Army. The Indian Navy has also imported anti-submarine equipment such as P-8 anti-submarine patrol planes. In the case of India and Japan, the agreement for cooperative research on the Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) Based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Augmentation Technology for UGV/robotics, signed in July 2018, represents the first collaborative research arrangement between the two defense ministries.vii And Japan has long sought a ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious plane deal with the Indian Navyviii. In addition, if India and the US start joint development of a sea-based missile defense system, it is expected that Japan will join, because Japan develops important parts for the system. This would be the first India-US-Japan joint development project.

3. What are the problems that might get in the way of stronger cooperation?

Both India and Japan have problems to overcome. In the case of India, because its defense relationship with Russia is still strong, the US and Japan have hesitated to share sensitive military technology with it. For example, Japan was reluctant to export Soryu-class submarines to India because these submarines are its main line of defense against Russia.

India also tends to spend too long deciding on important military matters. The GSOMIA, LEMOA and COMCASA negotiation with the US, took India more than 14 years to conclude the agreement.ix Another example relates to the size of its air force. India's squadron has shrunk to 30 and will decline to only 19 by 2042—and although it needs 45 squadron to deal with both China and Pakistan, India has not yet decided which fighter jets are best for its air force.x Weapons development and product capabilities are also a problem.

In the case of Japan, there are plenty of problems. The most important weakness of Japan is its decision-making capability in foreign conflicts. For a long time, Japan has tried to avoid intervening in foreign conflicts, and the Japanese government has not possessed enough capability to obtain the necessary information to decide its stance.

Even if Japan were to intervene, there would be another problem. Because Japan's armed forces do not have offensive and power-projection capabilities, its diplomatic choices are very limited.

Also, because Japan government has not exported weapons for a long time, there is no export system in place. And the Japanese defense industry does not have any real motivation to export. Currently, less than 10 percent of the total income of each company comes from the defense sector.xi Under such a situation, companies are not reliant on arms exports to increase their income. In addition, the cost of Japan's defense equipment is too high to be competitive in the international market. These weak points can potentially limit coordination between India, the US, and Japan.

Conclusion: How should we solve the problem?

How to improve? In the case of India, it is obvious that it needs to increase the speed of military modernization. But at the same time, the three countries should still coordinate on emergency scenarios and hold joint exercises. In addition, to improve its weapons development capability, India needs to draw on its considerable pool of high-level scientific talent (both domestic and Non-Resident Indian).

In the case of Japan, it is seeking to join the Five Eyes intelligence alliance with the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in order to increase its access to sensitive information. To increase its offensive capability and power-projection capability, Japan decided to modify its Izumo-class helicopter carriers to be small aircraft carriers. Since 2017, these Izumo-class aircraft carriers have come to the Indian Ocean every year to train with the Indian Navy. Even if these small aircraft carriers do not give Japan enough power-projection capability, dispatching aircraft carrier can show Japan's national will in times of crisis. Japan has had little success trying to sell expensive arms to other countries, so it should use the Official Development Assistance system to donate its equipment first. After that, Japan will gain insight and know-how about selling weapons. Perhaps in the near future Japan can create a defense company where 100 percent of income comes from the defense sector. And Japan also can use dual-use technologies to strengthen relations with India and the US.

If we improve these capabilities one by one, a deep and lasting India-US-Japan defense coordination will be more than just a dream, and we can deal with a rising China's expansion.

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