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PacNet #39 – Japan-India Strategic Ties: time to move beyond mere words

During the last week of May, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid a return visit to Tokyo, in keeping with a tradition inaugurated by him and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in 2007 to exchange summit-level visits on an annual basis. China’s cancellation of the 2013 Trilateral (Japan-China-Korea) Summit meeting, slated for late-May, opened space on the calendar for the Abe-Singh meeting. China’s equally short-notice announcement of a Premier Li Keqiang visit to New Delhi in May and its attendant engineering of a mini-crisis on the disputed China-India frontier that drained political and bureaucratic attention from preparations for the Japan visit, robbed the Abe-Singh meeting of substantive content. There was modest progress in resuming negotiations toward a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation accord.