ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Partners in Washington's 'Pivot'

New Delhi moves closer to Washington's main strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific - Tokyo and Canberra.

Both, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, insisted on the qualifier “special” being added to the existing Indo-Japanese Strategic Global Partnership. On a five-day official visit to Japan, Modi was emphatic that this was not simply a play of words but had to do with the fact that Japan was of crucial importance to both India’s economy and its military-strategic objectives. At the heart of the Political, Defence and Security Partnership was the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Defence, especially “the regularisation of bilateral maritime exercises” and “Japan’s continued participation in [the] India-US Malabar series of exercises”, as the Tokyo Declaration for India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership put it.

Hardly had Modi returned from Japan after accomplishing this “special” strategic alignment with the United States’ key Asian ally did New Delhi sign a Civil Nuclear Agreement with Canberra during the two-day visit of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to India. At the core of that agreement is “the sale of Australian uranium to support” India’s growing demand for the fuel, not only from its existing 21 nuclear power reactors, but also in the future when the seven that are now under construction and the further additions that are planned as part of the country’s scheme to double its nuclear power generation capacity by 2032 come on board. Indeed, Australian mining corporations – those that also extract and sell uranium ore, in the doldrums after the disaster at Fukushima in 2011 and the subsequent fall in demand from Japan – are looking to India and China to bring in the moolah in the years to come.

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