With Japan chairing G-7 and India G-20 this year, both are in pivotal positions to keep all issues alive at the discussion tables
In a deeply polarised world, it is important to know who your friends are. India may be in a somewhat conflicted position so far as Russia is concerned post the breakout of the war in Ukraine. But its historical closeness to Russia has not come in the way of its advancement in tie-ups in the last few years with the US leading the way in keeping India warm in its strategic axis via the Quad and Japan ready to work even more closely with India.
It is against the background of India’s enhanced status in world affairs as one of four in the Quad alliance that the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit must be judged. That they share concerns over Chinese aggression and a growing Chinese footprint in the Indo-Pacific region has only brought them that much closer, a fact acknowledged by Mr Kishida in his engagements in Delhi, besides in his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s juggling act in maintaining its sympathetic attitude to war-stricken Ukraine while being silent on Russia’s invasion and still insisting on the soundness of calling for peace has been one of the peculiar features of its diplomacy in the last 13 months. The Japanese Prime Minister could still be forthright in condemning Russia in frequent references to the war it started in Ukraine while bringing up Prime Minister Modi’s oft-quoted “this isn’t the era of war” comment aimed at Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
With Japan chairing G-7 and India G-20 this year, both are in pivotal positions to keep all issues alive at the discussion tables. Their inviting each other to the summits they host is further proof of how the current tide has brought them together in a common cause even as Mr Kishida dwelt on how he thought India was indispensable to Japan’s plan of opposing the use of force, defending the rule of law, and creating connectivity. In pursuance of his G-7 role, Mr Kishida moved on to Kyiv through Warsaw from New Delhi, maybe suggesting that, even if there are differences over Russia, India and Japan are on the same strategic page.