Japan wants to take advantage of its alliance with India and use their support for a strategic rivalry between them and China.
To achieve this feat, Japan wants to run more high-speed rail in India and sign more contracts, as its one of the best ways to project power.
Further, there is no Asian country, except India, which can offer more opportunities on these projects.
It’s a known fact that running Bullet Trains in India, is one of PM Modi’s biggest dream.
During his first visit to Japan last year, he had even picked Japan as a partner for India first bullet rail line linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
The partnership of 980-billion-rupee ($15 billion) was formed between the two nation and now Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes that Japan will become the front-runner in India’s five other planned railway lines.
What one must note, that “the ‘Rail Wars’ between China and Japan has been going on for decades and is more a battle of influence in that particular region than just sales and profits.
According to Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus’s director Jeff Kingston, PM Modi would prefer to “play one off the other and see what he can get for India”, but from the geostrategically point of view, the Indian government is leaning towards U.S. and Japan as compared to rest.
Further, Japan’s biggest competition for high-speed rail contracts in the Asian market is China and there has been intense competition between the two.
Last year China beat Japan for a line in Indonesia and they are once again set to face each other with regards to the proposed rail line between Singapore-Kuala Lumpur.
Looking at all these competition within Asia, and India’s stressed relation with China, Japan now hopes to bag all five Indian line contracts, so as to defeat China in one of Asia’s biggest market.