In Chinese media, there is a major debate about the recent exercise between India and Japan.
If you don’t understand Chinese, the exercise’s significance lies somewhere in between these two videos:
No seriously, most of the debate is centered around the idea that Japan and Inda are trying to encapsulate China. While Abe is a neo-nationalist, never stops to strike the “fear of China” into his people, and both countries have disputed territories with China, this whole surrounding China idea is a little outblown as well. In Northeast Asia issues, Japan isn’t getting anywhere with South Korea (for obvious historical reasons), but aside from the US, who else really is Japan’s ally? India sounds like a good option, as most of Japan’s outcast stems from its atrocities committed in WWII. India and Japan never really had those same issues. Also, if you look at carefully, the Japanese have already had exercises with the Indians and the US, and several Pacific-Asian nations. This recent venture, just makes it more direct, effecient, and in turn, will only help the already existing partnerships in place.
One thing that’s also being overlooked, is Japan’s exercise with Russia. Russia is a country that still has a territorial dispute with Japan, and the last time these two countries’ militaries came together, they were fighting with each other. Russia, is in a sort of love-hate relationship with China. Sometimes economic rivals, sometimes, military partners, and then rivals again… It’s complicated. Depending on how they see each other, they are either an ally, or an enemy. The Russians at least were friendly enough to hold exercises with the Chinese in July, off the Sea of Japan, nonetheless. Currently, these countries for various reasons are willing to conduct these exercises with Japan, and that’s all Japan needs to show it’s part of the international community, that and maybe its military industrial complex is looking out for its own benefit, which is something most of Asia is indeed worried about.
January 24, 2014
Exercises aside, the following article discusses in-depth what Indian-Japanese relations mean for China.