The Japanese Prime Minister recently paid an official visit to India to attend the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit.
The Summit took place during the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as India’s 75th anniversary of independence.
Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister virtually inaugurated a Japanese ‘Zen Garden – Kaizen Academy’ at Gujarat’s Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA).
Japan will invest Rs 3.2 lakh crores in India over the next five years.
7 JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) loans to various states for projects in connectivity, water supply and sewerage, horticulture, healthcare, and biodiversity conservation.
Japanese companies have signed an agreement to introduce Johkasou technology for decentralised wastewater treatment in India. It is used in areas where sewage infrastructure has yet to be built.
The Sustainable Development Initiative for the North Eastern Region of India was launched with a focus on India’s infrastructure development in the Northeast, and it includes both ongoing projects and potential future collaboration in connectivity, healthcare, new and renewable energy, and a bamboo value chain initiative.
On cyber security, the leaders discussed the “India-Japan Digital Partnership,” which aims to boost the digital economy by promoting joint projects in IoT (internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and other emerging technologies.
Japan hopes to attract more highly skilled Indian IT professionals to contribute to Japan’s ICT sector.
Clean Energy Partnership: It was established to foster collaboration in areas such as electric vehicles, storage systems including batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, solar energy development, hydrogen and ammonia production, and so on.
The goal is to encourage manufacturing in India, as well as the development of resilient and trustworthy supply chains in these areas, as well as to foster collaboration in R&D. (Research and Development).
It will be implemented through the existing Energy Dialogue mechanism.
Japan’s cooperation on the MAHSR and various Metro projects in India was appreciated, and the country looked forward to the planned preparatory survey for the Patna Metro.
People-to-People Engagement: The Indian Prime Minister confirmed India’s participation in Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan, as an opportunity to strengthen and expand trade, investment, and people-to-people ties between the two countries.
Concerning the Indo-Pacific region, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the region.
The two Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of bilateral and plurilateral partnerships among like-minded countries in the region, including the QUAD grouping of India, Australia, Japan, and the United States.
The Japanese Prime Minister invited PM Modi to Tokyo for the QUAD Summit Meeting.
The two leaders reaffirmed their “condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including the 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks,” and urged Pakistan to take firm and irreversible action against terrorist networks operating from its territory, as well as to fully comply with international commitments, including those made to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force).
Test-Ban Treaty: The Japanese Prime Minister emphasised the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty entering into force as soon as possible (CTBT).
The Treaty intends to prohibit all nuclear explosions, anywhere and by anyone. It will enter into force once all 44 of the countries listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty have ratified it.
The Treaty has yet to be signed by India.
Ukraine: Discussed Russia’s serious invasion of Ukraine and sought a peaceful solution based on international law.
China: India informed Japan about the situation in Ladakh, troop amassing attempts, and India’s border-related talks with China.
The Japanese Prime Minister also briefed India on his views on the East and South China Seas.
The PMs stated their intention to work closely together to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan, emphasising the importance of addressing the humanitarian crisis, promoting human rights, and ensuring the establishment of a truly representative and inclusive political system.
They also referred to the UN Security Council Resolution, which states unequivocally that “Afghan territory shall not be used for the sheltering, training, planning, or financing of terrorist acts.”
The prime ministers condemned North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches, which violated UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs).
Myanmar: They urged Myanmar to implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus as soon as possible.
Recently, India, Japan, and Australia formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) to counter China’s supply chain dominance in the Indo-Pacific region.
In 2020, India and Japan signed a logistics agreement that will allow both countries’ armed forces to closely coordinate in terms of services and supplies. The acquisition and cross-servicing agreement is known as the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA).
India and Japan elevated their relationship to a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” in 2014.
The India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which entered into force in August 2011, governs trade in goods, services, natural person movement, investments, intellectual property rights, customs procedures, and other trade-related issues.
More collaboration and cooperation can benefit both countries, as India requires sophisticated technology from Japan.
When it comes to Make in India, there is a lot of potential. Japanese digital technology could be combined with Indian raw materials and labour to form joint ventures.
Close cooperation is the most effective way to counter China’s growing role in Asia and the Indo-Pacific, both in physical and digital space.
Recently, the French President suggested that if and when the Russia-Ukraine war ends, Finlandization could be a viable option for Ukraine.
It refers to Finland’s strict neutrality policy toward Moscow (Russia) and the West during the Cold War decades.
The principle of neutrality was founded on the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (or YYA Treaty, from the Finnish “Ystavyys-, yhteistyo – ja avunantosopimus”) signed by Finland and the Soviet Union in April 1948.
Article 1 of the treaty states: “In the event that Finland or the Soviet Union through Finnish territory becomes the target of an armed attack by Germany or any state allied with the latter (meaning, essentially, the United States), Finland will fight to repel the attack in accordance with its obligations as an independent state.”
In such cases, Finland will use all available forces to defend its territorial integrity by land, sea, and air, and will do so within Finland’s borders in accordance with the obligations defined in the present agreement and, if necessary, with the assistance of or jointly with the Soviet Union.
In such cases, Finland will receive the assistance that it requires, subject to mutual agreement between the contracting parties.
The 1948 Treaty of Helsinki served as the foundation of Finland-Russia relations until 1992, when Finland signed a new agreement with post-Soviet Russia.
It was at the heart of Finland’s foreign policy doctrine, particularly from 1946 to 1982, and is known as the “Paasikivi-Kekkonen line” in international relations studies.
From the standpoint of Finland, whose capital Helsinki is located just across the Gulf of Finland from St Petersburg (Leningrad), the treaty protected it from being attacked or absorbed into the USSR, as the Baltic and eastern European states had been.
It enabled the country to pursue a path of democracy and capitalism while remaining neutral in the conflict between the great powers.
Finland was not a signatory to the Marshall Plan. It took neutral stances on issues where the Soviet Union and the West disagreed. It remained independent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European military powers, and used this position to defy Moscow’s pressure to join the Soviet bloc or the Warsaw Pact.
The Marshall Plan was a United States-sponsored programme that aimed to rehabilitate the economies of 17 Western and Southern European countries in order to create stable conditions in which democratic institutions could survive in the aftermath of World War II.
Ukraine should be free to choose its economic and political allegiances, including those with Europe.
Ukraine should not become a member of NATO. It should be free to form a government that reflects the expressed will of its people.
It should adopt a stance similar to Finland’s. That country makes no bones about its fierce independence, cooperating with the West in most fields while avoiding institutional hostility toward Russia.
The fourth Intergovernmental Conference (IGC-4) meeting was recently held in New York to finalise a draught of the instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
The IGC-4 is being held in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The “BBNJ Treaty,” also known as the “Treaty of the High Seas,” is a United Nations-sponsored international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
This new instrument is being developed within the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the primary international treaty governing human activities at sea.
It will achieve more holistic management of high seas activities, which should improve the balance between conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
BBNJ includes the high seas beyond a country’s exclusive economic zone or national waters.
These areas cover “nearly half of the Earth’s surface,” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
These areas are hardly regulated and are also poorly understood or explored for their biodiversity – only 1% of these areas are protected.
The High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, which will be launched at the One Ocean Summit in February 2022, brings together many delegations involved in the BBNJ negotiations on a common and ambitious outcome at the highest political level.
The talks are centred on a package of elements agreed upon in 2015, namely: the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, particularly marine genetic resources, including questions about benefit sharing.
95 percent of the ocean is outside of national jurisdiction, and it provides invaluable ecological, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and food-security benefits to humanity.
However, these teeming with life areas are now vulnerable to growing threats such as pollution, overexploitation, and the already visible effects of climate change.
The growing demand for marine resources in the coming decades, whether for food, minerals, or biotechnology, threatens to exacerbate the problem.
The high seas are extremely biodiverse, and they have been exploited without even realising the consequences.
While there have been scientific explorations of the high seas’ surface water, the deep sea, or water below 200 metres below the surface, has received little attention.
The extinction process is beginning on the deep seafloors, which are thought to be the harshest habitat.
Sixty-two percent of the 184 Molluscan species assessed are listed as threatened: There are 39 critically endangered species, 32 endangered species, and 43 vulnerable species.
Molluscs in the Indian Ocean vents are already critically endangered in their entirety. This demonstrates the critical need to save them from extinction. Nonetheless, the International Seabed Authority, a Jamaica-based intergovernmental organisation, permits deep sea mining contracts.
The latest edition of the United Nations World Happiness Report for 2022 was recently released.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes this report once a year.
This report assesses the subjective well-being of 150 countries (146 in 2022).
It is based on three major well-being indicators (life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions), GDP levels, life expectancy, and so on.
Happiness rankings are based on life evaluations, which are a more stable measure of people’s lives.
It assigns a score from 0 to 10 based on an average of data collected over a three-year period.
Findings – The World Happiness Report is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year (2022).
The 2022 edition of the United Nations World Happiness Report was recently published.
This report is published once a year by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The subjective well-being of 150 countries is assessed in this report (146 in 2022).
It is based on three major well-being indicators (life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions), as well as GDP levels and life expectancy, among other things.
Life evaluations, which are a more stable measure of people’s lives, are used to calculate happiness rankings.
Based on an average of data collected over a three-year period, it assigns a score ranging from 0 to 10.
Findings – This year marks the tenth anniversary of the World Happiness Report (2022).
The Indian Constitution has been translated into Santali for the first time, using the Ol Chiki script.
The Ol Chiki script, also known as Ol Cemet’, Ol script, and Ol ciki Script, is used to write Santali.
Ol Chiki script was created by Pandit Raghunath Murmu (Guru Gomke).
He described how god Bidu and goddess Chandan, who appear on Earth as humans, naturally invented the Ol Chiki script to communicate with each other using written Santali in his novel Bidu Chandan.
One intriguing aspect of the Ol Chiki script is the use of signs and symbols that the Santals have long recognised.
Santali is a language with its own distinct characteristics, with literature dating back to the early 15th century.
Santali is a Munda group language in the Austro-Asiantric family.
Santali is spoken by over 70 lakh people in India, according to the 2011 Census of India.
The 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 added Santhali (along with Bodo, Dogri, and Maithili) to Schedule VIII (Official Languages of India) to the Indian Constitution.
This addition meant that the Indian government was obligated to develop the Santali language and to allow students to use it in school-level examinations and entrance examinations for public service jobs.
In 2005, India’s Sahitya Akademi began awarding annual prizes for outstanding literary works in Santali, a move that helped preserve and promote the community’s literature.