Thursday, April 14, 2016

India-Japan: Poised for Partnership and Waiting...

If there is a code that needs to be cracked, it is the enigma of India-Japan relations.

In a recent discussion with a retired Indian diplomat, one angle of this enigma was articulated - "For more than three decades now, there has been no doubt in the Japanese government about where they want the India-Japan relations to go, and they have almost always stood by us: Construction of Bombay High, 1991 Forex Rescue, Maruti-Suzuki, and Delhi Metro...Somehow, we Indians seem to have always fallen short of our own expectations."

So, as with a cart which has one one wheel moving faster than the other, we seem to be going round and round, in slow, large circles.

Over the years, there has been no dearth of grand promises -- A network of 12 Japan Industrial Townships across India; A Dedicated Freight Corridor flanked on either side by smart new industrial cities stretching all the way from New Delhi to Mumbai; There has been talk of greater defence cooperation, including the supply of Japanese amphibious aircraft (US2), to the Indian Navy; A deal paving the way to "clean" N-power; ...and yet, for all those bilateral declarations, and lofty commitments, there is precious little to show on the ground.

What explains this yawning gap between intent and action?

A recent book by Rohan Mukherjee and Anthony Yazaki (Oxford, 2016), titled "Poised for Partnership", seems to be analysing some of these issues.with the seriousness it deserves.

Mukherjee and Yazaki see a recurrent pattern where "lofty commitments of increased cooperation were often not matched by sufficient attention to the minutiae of how such promises would be turned into reality."

The reviews look good but the pricetag seems rather forbidding. I wonder in which library I could get my hands on a copy of this book.


* Book Review - Business Standard India -

* Anthony Yazaki -
* Rohan Mukherjee -
* Chapter-I -

Fitzpatrick, Michael (2015):  Why is hi-tech Japan using cassette tapes and faxes? BBC Business, URL - grin emoticon

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