Prelims level : International Mains level : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
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Why in News:

  • Under the threat of potentially devastating U.S. tariffs on autos, Japan is ready to roll out the newest phase of its charm offensive targeting President Donald Trump as it welcomes him on a state visit tailor-made to his whims and ego


  • U.S. tariffs could cripple Japan’s auto industry, while North Korea remains a destabilizing threat in the region
  • Mr. Trump, has the honor of being the first head of state invited to meet Emperor Naruhito since he assumed power after his father stepped down, the first abdication in about two centuries.
  • Behind the smiles and personal friendship, however, lurks deep uneasiness over Mr. Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Japanese autos and auto parts on national security grounds, a move that would be far more devastating to the Japanese economy than earlier tariffs on steel and aluminium.
  • Also at issue is the lingering threat of North Korea, which has resumed missile testing and recently fired a series of short-range projectiles that U.S. officials, including Mr. Trump, have tried to downplay despite an agreement by North Korea to hold off on further testing.
  • Japan, which relies on the U.S. for its defense, has also been largely cut out of negotiations with North Korea.
  • Mr. Trump has rejected Mr. Abe’s invitations to re- join a sweeping trans-Pacific trade deal and keeps the threat of tariffs in place, Mr. Trump walked away from his last meeting with Mr. Kim without a deal, which some had feared would include a declaration to end the Korean war and a vow to pull U.S. troops from the peninsula.

India and Japan:

  • Japan has been made a permanent participant in the Malabar naval exercises which also involves the US.
  • The two countries have inked a nuclear deal—Japan’s first with a non-signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
  • A new trilateral at the foreign secretary level has been initiated with Australia as the third country.
  • In addition to these, the numbers on Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) and overseas development assistance (ODA) to India have been climbing.
  • Other than the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail, many other high-profile projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and Mumbai Trans-harbour link project are under different stages of execution.
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