The annual 2+2 dialogue between India & Japan concluded in Tokyo today (Sept 9). The dialogue was held between the Defence & Foreign Ministries in order to push strategic ties between both nations.
The dialogue is crucial in light of geopolitical tensions in Asia, from Eurasia to the Indo-pacific ocean. The quest to keep the Indo-Pacific oceans free from the hegemony of China is in the political imagination of various nations for a while now.
India has increased its summit-level dialogue with several like-minded nations in recent times. Apart from Japan, India has a 2+2 dialogue forum with Australia, Russia & The US.
2+2 dialogue forum is where the foreign and defence ministers of two nations sit together to carve out strategic cooperation policy for a long-term basis.
Summit-level dialogues are a recent form of sorting out differences and carving out new avenues for cooperation. While it remains non-containing in nature, many policy circles have concluded that the primary concern is to keep an eye on China. China in recent times has emerged as one of the biggest strategic challenges for the nations with which India is currently engaging deeply.
These dialogues have resulted in a number of changes on the ground. Japan recently joined the MILAN military exercise with India.
Assessing the new challenges which India & Japan are facing, S Jaishankar, the external affairs minister of India, remarked,
” strengthening our foreign policy coordination is essential to realize the true benefits of the substantial convergence in our interests and outlook… In parallel, there is an ongoing endeavor to deepen our defence exchanges and explore areas for practical cooperation.’’
Both the nations reiterated their commitments to the regional and security challenges, including their divergence on certain issues such as Ukraine, and the imports of Russian oil into domestic markets.
The dialogue is being held five months after the State visit of the Japanese PM Fumio Kishida to India, for the annual India-Japan summit meet.