Japan's Relations with South Asia

Authored by: Monika Chansoria

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter tracks the trajectory of Japan's relations with South Asia from the time when the subcontinent remained peripheral as far as Tokyo's post-war “Asia vision” was concerned. From being the “other Asia” for Japan, South Asia has come a long way in figuring more prominently in Japanese foreign policy thinking, formulation, and posture, be it economic, political, and strategic. There are attributions, which this chapter seeks to discuss, of foreign policymaking in Japan leaning toward being rather “reactive,” as they principally respond to external developments (gaiatsu) and gravity. This chapter chronicles a synthesis based on a blend of foreign policy approaches and strategies cited in the context of historical and current influences and determinants. The conceptual underpinnings of this chapter find roots in political realism, which prioritizes national interest and security. Often tantamount with power politics to a large extent, the notion includes extended variables such as the drive for regional status, ambitions, and applied strategies, most significantly including economic statecraft. South Asia's presence in Japan's economic diplomacy and technological aid and assistance schematic capitalizes on strategic necessities as the subcontinent exhibits its competitive and conflictual sides correspondingly, especially, in terms of the struggle for regional significance and power.

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