Special Correspondent

“Its achievements will be mind-boggling and beneficial to the entire human race”

Japan capable of emerging as a leader of the region

“It will be mutually beneficial if India looks to the East”

CHENNAI: India and Japan along with China should form a regional troika rather than the hypothesised Quadrilateral Axis with the US and Australia, B.S. Raghavan, former policy adviser to the United Nations, said on Friday.

The achievements of such a troika bound by affinities could be mind-boggling and beneficial to the entire human race, he said, delivering a lecture on ‘Indo-Japan Relations: Emerging Relations,’ organised by the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IJCCI) here.

Japan had all the capabilities to emerge as a leader of the region. But, for this to happen, it was imperative that it showed the determination to come out of the “tutelage” of the US, he said.

It will be mutually beneficial if India looks to East instead of being obsessed with the US or Europe, and Japan pays more attention to what was one of the largest middle class consumer markets here, Mr. Raghavan said.

However, to translate all the intent of the joint statement between the countries of intensifying cooperation on diverse fronts, it was vital that Japan initiated an aggressive promotion of its language and culture.

Host of factors

K.V. Kesavan, former Professor of Japanese Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a visiting faculty in Japan, said while the recent change of guard in Japan had installed a Prime Minister known as much for moderation as for a pro-US stance, India had to weigh in a host of factors affecting regional dynamics that would eventually determine the bilateral framework.

While Japan has hinted that it will not oppose India’s cause at the Nuclear Suppliers Group against the backdrop of the civilian nuclear deal with the US, India should also realise that any Japanese response will be dictated by the rubric of the US-Japan Security Alliance, Mr. Kesavan said. Mr. Kesavan pointed out that Japan’s assessment of India and its role in regional dynamics had changed more or less in tune with India’s emergence as a successful economy. Indo-Japan relations too have evolved in scope and scale over the years, moving from the narrow framework of bilateral business to touch upon areas such as peace promotion, anti-terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and energy cooperation, he said.

Yuji Okada, Consul, Consulate-General of Japan in Chennai was guest of honour.

N. Krishnaswamy of the IJCCI spoke.