New Delhi, Mar 17 : Forecasting "Asia will undergo a dramatic change" in coming decades, the Japanese Ambassador to India, Hideaki Domichi, said today that Japan's focus is clearly on India for a mature and healthy political and strategic relationship besides the economic ties.
Agreeing with scholars who stressed the need for engaging China for a stable and resurgent Asia, Domichi said Japan is for inclusive growth in the continent as there are much greater opportunities than coercions or threats.
Speaking at a symposium on "Security and Strategic Challenges in Asia: Prospects of Japan-India Cooperation" organised by Observer Research Foundation, Embassy of Japan and Gaiko Forum of Japan here, Domichi underlined the need for economic integration of Asia.
Domichi said economic integration in turn would deter conflicts in the continent and would also lead to a proactive, stable, peaceful and resurgent Asia, which would benefit Japanese economy.
The symposium at Observer Research Foundation was moderated by former Indian Ambassador to Japan, Arjun Asrani, who requested the Japanese government to amend its Cabinet decision which debars highly potential defence channel cooperation between the two countries. Prof. Takenori Horimoto (Shobi University, Japan), Prof. Brahma Chellaney (Centre for Policy Research) and Prof. K. V. Kesavan (Distinguished Fellow, ORF) made presentations at the symposium while Mr. Brajesh Mishra, former National Security Advisor, K. Raghunath, former Foreign Secretary, and other experts made their observations on the subject.
Brajesh Mishra, now Trustee, ORF, stressed the need for bringing China into the mainstream by engaging with it effectively. He said stability and peace is important for development and these cannot be achieved without bringing China into mainstream. He also stressed the role of Asian Community as a whole.
Raghunath, while not ruling out potential for tensions in Asia, underlined the need for inter-dependence of Asian countries and a cooperative regional system, which respected the aspirations of all nations.
Describing Asia as "most resurgence rich, population rich" continent, Prof. Chellaney said Japan and India, which have similar interests with both depending on Gulf countries for its energy supplies, are "classic natural allies" and should build strategic ties.
Prof. Horimoto also called for gradual Asian integration on the lines of developments in Europe, which has graduated to European Union now.
Prof. Kesavan explained how the foreign policy shift of Prime Minister Yasuo Fakuda was helping in improving Japan's ties with China, and said Asian security was very important for a resurgent Asia and also for a developed economy of Japan.
Cautioning against any grouping against China, Prof. Kesavan called for strengthening cooperation in areas like maritime security, energy security, etc and in this regard suggested that Japan should come forward to welcome Indo-US nuclear agreement.