With the landslide victory of Shinzo Abe-led conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan elections, the people in India, especially the business community, have exuded hope that Abe would start working again on bettering ties between the two countries - an initiative he had to give up in 2007 after he stepped down as Japanese premier.
AFTER REMAINING out of power for almost three-and-a-half-years, Abe's LDP swept the polls, held on Sunday despite a strong wave against the nuclear power. Abe has been averse to completely phase-out nuclear power in the country despite the recent radiation leakage at Fukushima nuclear plant.
Various surveys have shown that 80 per cent people in Japan want complete phasing out of nuclear energy, but according to Shunichi Kawasaki, a retired employee, the method isn't that easy. "The main question for these elections is energy. It is easy to say that we want to get rid of nuclear energy, but technically it is not an easy thing to do. People should accept it. I hope the next prime minister will make a sound a decision," Kawasaki told AFP.
Whether or not Abe takes a popular decision on nuclear energy in the country remains to be seen, but his return to power is being seen as a big opportunity for Indo-Japanese ties to get better. The obvious reason for this hope is Abe's 2006 statement that 'Japan-India relations had the potential to overtake Japan-US and Japan-China ties'.
Another reason for Indians to celebrate the victory of LDP is Abe's statement that 'India's success is in Japan's best interests and Japan's success is in the best interests of India'. He told this to a gathering at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) during his visit to India in 2011.
The aggressive stand taken by Abe against China, particularly regarding an archipelago of uninhabited but disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Japans calls Senkaku and China Daioyu, would be seen as a positive development by Indians to control the Chinese asssertiveness in the area.“We must strengthen our alliance with the U.S. and also improve relations with China, with a strong determination that is no change in the fact the Senkaku islands are our territory,” Abe said in an interview.
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