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Japan’s New Plan for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)

GS Paper 2


Syllabus: International Relations

 Source: TH

 Context: During his visit to India, the Japanese PM unveiled Japan’s New Plan for a FOIP and exchanged views about deepening the Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership.


Japan’s New Plan for the FOIP: It lays stress on the need to uphold the rules-based order and respect each other’s territorial sovereignty, at a time when the international community is at a historical turning point.


Four pillars of cooperation under the new FOIP:

  • Principles for peace and rules for prosperity: Japan wants to engage in economic development programmes such as the G-20 Principles for “Quality Infrastructure Investment”.
  • Addressing challenges in an Indo-Pacific way: Incorporating realistic and practical projects in a wide range of areas, such as climate change, food security, global health and cybersecurity.
  • Multi-layered connectivity: The 3 areas identified for introducing more such projects are Southeast Asia, South Asia and the South Pacific/Pacific Island countries. Japan has made a new commitment of –
    • $100 million towards the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund;
    • It will promote the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept in cooperation with India and Bangladesh, etc.
  • Extending efforts for security and safe use of the “sea” to the “air”: Japan will help in strengthening the capabilities of maritime law enforcement agencies in other countries. Towards these objectives,
    • Japan will implement the “strategic use of Official Development Assistance (ODAs)”.
    • Japan also announced to mobilise a total of more than $75 billion in public and private funds by 2030 for infrastructure development.


What does Japan’s New Plan for the FOIP signify?

  • Japan needs to do much more in the region.
  • Japan is preparing itself for any unforeseen threat to its own as well as regional security.
  • To reinforce the idea that Japan has been the
    • The main champion of the FOIP concept
    • Central in the emerging geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific
  • With recent global developments (Russia-Ukraine war, Chinese assertiveness in the SCS, ECS, the Indian LAC, and the Taiwan Straits), there is a need to give a fresh push and momentum to the FOIP concept.
  • It focuses on the numerous challenges facing the Indo-Pacific such as the lack of a united stand on “what the international order should be?”.


Pros of FOIP: Embrace diverse voices and create an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration (rather than division and confrontation) → rule-making through dialogue.


India and Japan relations:

  • Notwithstanding some differences in the Ukraine conflict, Japan remains one of India’s closest friends in Asia given their shared concerns over the aggressive Chinese activities.
  • Japan deeply invested in Indo-Pacific stability and prosperity is good news indeed for India and the wider region.


India and FOIP:

  • India is an indispensable
  • Japan’s concept of FOIP is like India’s concept of the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), which has seven pillars:
    • Maritime Security;
    • Maritime Ecology;
    • Maritime Resources;
    • Capacity Building and Resource Sharing;
    • Disaster Risk Reduction and Management;
    • Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation; and
    • Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport.


Conclusion: Both India and Japan should cooperate to build consensus on the new FOIP during the G-7 and the G-20 (Japan and India hold their presidencies, respectively) summits.


Insta Links:

India-Japan Relations


Mains Links:

‘The time has come for India and Japan to build a strong contemporary relationship, one involving global and strategic partnerships that will have a great significance for Asia and the world as a whole.’ Comment. (UPSC 2019)