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Monday, 1 September 2014

Beware of Japan

Beware of Japan
Indian open market Bullish economy is managed by the finance ministry,SEBI and RBI,it is supposed.How do they manage,it is another story full of contradictions.
Palash Biswas

Bullish mood Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with Minister of State Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference at National Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

We are often mistaken while we discuss neoliberal policies and economic reforms in context to the incarnation of the reform God,dethroned Dr Manmohan Singh who so called secular left intellectuals glorify to defy the shafron regime.We treat 1991 as the cut off year as the original neoliberal Indian economy was started up with linking Indian economy with Dollar under socialist model of development.

India economy,meanwhile is reduced to an US periphery, as Indian ruling hegemony consisted of bipolar parliamentary system opted for open market economy.

Whereas,the first phase of economic reforms devastated indian production system and the producers and workers have become Have Nots to feed the Haves.India signed a nuclear deal to delink with nonalignment era and eventually became the partner in the US war against terror,accomplished the agenda to make India a foreign territory deprived of freedom,fraternity,equity,justice,civic and human rights,rule of law and sovereignty,the shafron followers of Mussolini and Hitler seek an alliance with Japan and don`t ask me what does Japanese imperialism means.

The prime minister of India is making Banaras ,perhaps the most ancient city of the human civilization a smart city and inclusive economic empowerment is tagged with Bullet,all to be supported with Japanese capital and technology.

You have not to go far away to feel the japanese influence in the economy as Bangladesh remains the ingredient bleeding part of the Indian geopolitics.Where absence of labor rights and the identity of the greatest donors is quite coincidental.It is also a rare coincidence,that the protagonists of Hinu nation intend to kill labour laws in India just before striking alliance with Japan.

Hence,note the date as the cut off for second generation of reforms.

Indian open market economy is managed by the finance ministry,SEBI and RBI,it is supposed.How do they manage,it is another story full of contradictions.

Bad loan is the basic cause of strategic selling off the PSBs.Now RBI guv suddenly declares that Indian banks` bad loan levels not so scary! The declaration,incidentally,comes just after the much hyped mass inclusion with the Jan Dhan Scheme in which PSBs have to pump in no less than seventy five thousand crores without any chance of recovery whatsoever as the biometric citizens deprived of employment are appeased with a debit card which would only boost the market of consumer goods in the festival season ahead and has not to contribute to the economy either.

Bank unions or employees are not concerned at all as they are not thinking anything about disinvestment,IPO or changed management or unlimited private voting right thanks to Banking Amendment Act,They are least concerned that the finance minister is already implementing Nayak recommendations.Restructuring of the PSBs would not spare either the Reserve Bank of India which have to be led by a coo as soon as RBI amendment act is passed and all its departments have to be injected with private management.
Just because,Bank employees,mostly educated and aware of economic developments,have to wait for Seventh Pay Commision.Meanwhile,
the Government is likely to approve a hike in dearness allowance to 107 per cent from the existing 100 per cent, benefiting around 30 lakh Centre’s employees and its 50 lakh pensioners including dependents.

“The average rate of retail inflation for industrial workers from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 works out to be 7.25 per cent. Thus, the Central government will hike dearness allowance for it employees by 7 per cent,” an official said.

He said the Finance Ministry will now put a Cabinet proposal for approval of 7 per cent DA hike from July 1 this year as the revised Consumer Price Index—Industrial Workers data for June was released by Labour Ministry yesterday.

With increase in DA, the pensioners will also gain as the benefit provided to them as dearness relief will be hiked to 107 per cent of basic pay.

The previous UPA government had increased DA to 100 per cent from 90 per cent with effect from January 1, 2014, on February 28 on the basis of agreed formula for revision of the allowance.

However, the central government employees’ union is not very enthused by the 7 per cent hike in the dearness allowance as their long pending demand of merger of DA with basic pay has not been given heed by 7th Pay Commission and the government.

“The erosion of value of wages is unbearable at 50 per cent dearness allowance. Now it will be 107 per cent. It is high time to merge DA with basic pay to provide relief to employees,” Confederation of Central Government Employees’ President KKN Kutty told PTI.

“We had submitted our memorandum in this regard to 7th Pay Commission. They forwarded it to Central Government.” He added that they have appraised the NDA government on the issue.

“But no decision has been taken so far,” he said.

With merger of DA with basic pay, the salary and allowances paid in proportion of basic pay are increased. As per earlier practise DA was merged with basic pay once it breached 50 per cent mark. But 6th Pay Commission has disallowed that.

RBI is nowhere to manage the economy except deciding the interest rates.While SEBI failed to regulate the stock exchange as well as the ponzi networking.Sardha scandal exposed RBI as well as SEBI official red handed by CBI while big exposes of shares and listed companies without any fundamental surfaced to undermine the SEBI myth.

The new Indian Express reports:
A special team of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, will leave for Mumbai and Goa to quiz some officials of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the RBI. It will also conduct raids at some properties in Goa.

The move comes after the interrogation of  Saradha Group chairman Sudipto Sen and East Bengal Football Club secretary Debabrata Sarkar alias Nitu by the CBI on Friday. Both were grilled jointly and separately for hours.

The agency has also summoned two businessmen -- Sajjan Agarwal and his son Sandhir Agarwal -- whom Sudipto had named in his first letter to it before fleeing the city in April last.

The Saradha chief had said during the questioning that he had paid `40 core to the two through Sarkar for ensuring “protection from the SEBI and RBI investigation” against his companies for mobilising funds from the public without their requisite permission.

It was on the basis of Sudipto’s claims that CBI decided to send a team, accompanied by the ED officials, to the SEBI and RBI headquarters in Mumbai. The team would also meet the market regulator’s chairman, U K Sinha.

Sarkar had taken `70 lakh from Sudipto  every month for several years ostensibly to bribe the SEBI and RBI officials, and the sleuths wanted to confirm whether he had actually handed over the money to them or invested it in his own businesses.  Since the CBI had found evidence of Sarkar’s frequent visits to Goa, the agency and the ED feel that he might have diverted some portion of the funds received from the Saradha chairman to invest in a hotel in Goa. They are also checking out his real estate business in the city and the properties owned by his kin.

In a related development, the ED has summoned TMC Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Hassan alias Imran for the third time for questioning, while the CBI has received clearance from a local court to interrogate, raid and if need be arrest two more Rajya Sabha MPs.

The ED had summoned Hassan twice in the past, but he was evasive in his responses. In its strongly worded third notice, the ED has asked the MP to appear with details of all the financial transactions he had with Sudipto when he sold his Bengali daily “Dainik Kalam” to the Saradha Group.

Though the MP had received a huge amount from Sudipto, the ownership of the publication was never transferred and he also arranged for the sale of an Urdu daily, Azad Hind, for which Hassan was paid another large amount, said an ED official.  Hassan, who has been summoned before the ED on Monday said, “I will certainly go, cooperate with them and reply to all their questions. I was never involved in any financial dealings with Saradha Group.”

On the other hand as the Hindu Business line reports:
With green shoots emerging after first quarter GDP figures showed a pick-up in economic growth at 5.7 per cent against 4.7 per cent in the same quarter last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has some reason to cheer.

Sharing some of his optimism with the media last week-end, Jaitley said the first quarter growth rate was “encouraging” and with the long-term impact of all the new initiatives taken by the Government setting in, he was “sure that the impact in the coming quarter would be much larger.”

However, inflation continues to be a cause for concern, despite some moderation, he said adding that more sectors were indicating a positive trend.

Asked about when interest rate cuts can be expected, the Finance Minister said, “Left to myself, I would say, very soon. I hope that those who decide are also listening.”

Deficit concern
Jaitley said the fiscal deficit figures in the first quarter (56.1 per cent of the Budget target) do not represent the pattern of the whole year. Tax collection, particularly advance taxes, have not yet started coming in, he said, adding the first quarter was also burdened with the refund of the last quarter of the last fiscal. A combination of these factors does not represent a proper state of the fiscal deficit, he admitted.

“I gave a target of fiscal deficit of 4.1 per cent in the Budget. I, at that stage, said that the figure given by my predecessor in the vote of account appears a daunting task, but I accepted the challenge and it would be my endeavour to meet that. So what was I accepting as a challenge, today I feel with first quarter GDP numbers, as something which is certainly achievable.” He said.

Hopeful of a consensus on the Goods and Services Tax, Jaitley said too many items cannot be kept out of it as the larger objective would get defeated. “I have already discussed the issue with the Finance Minister of Gujarat and intend to meet other States that have some issues,” he added.

Coal blocks
The Finance Minister said the impact on the recent Supreme Court ruling on coal block allocations already made would depend on how and what shape the litigation further takes.

However, he said the silver lining in the judgment was that it moved the system towards a fairer methodology of allocation of natural resources. “But we can’t allow the fate of the coal blocks to hang in mid-air, he said.

He hoped a decision, either way, does not linger.

On another major reform step – the insurance Bill – which is with the Select Committee at present, the Finance Minister said, “I don’t think we have to go so far (calling a joint session of Parliament).”

He said he was “reasonably confident because any political party (read Congress) which mooted the idea of this Bill in the past, can’t have any serious reservations against it,” he said, adding that “I do see positive attitude from the principal Opposition party.”

Jaitley said the Select Committee would soon start its work on the Bill, and was hopeful of its passage in the next session.

On the other hand,Power producers managed to generate more electricity and reduce supply deficit in the January-July period. But, whether they will be able to sustain the momentum remains to be seen, as a dip in coal stocks at thermal power plants is threatening to disrupt power supply in parts of North India.

According to the Central Electricity Authority, 19 out of the 27 power plants in the northern region of the country have less than seven days of coal stock. This has resulted in increase of peak shortage to 5,323 MW on August 29 from 4,467 MW on August 26 in the region, according to National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC).

Within the region, Uttar Pradesh is facing the biggest shortage of electricity according to the NLDC.

On August 29, the State had a peak shortage of 3,210 MW. Increasing the pressure on the State’s power plants is the low level of coal stocks. In Uttar Pradesh, 10 out of 11 coal-based plants have critical levels (less than seven days) of fuel.

The level of bad loans at Indian banks is a "concern" but is not "scary", Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.

A prolonged economic slowdown has hit Indian banks' balance sheets, with stressed loans - those categorised as bad and restructured - amounting to about 10 per cent of all loans. Fitch Ratings expects stressed assets to reach 14 per cent of loans by March next year. The bulk of these bad loans are related to infrastructure projects, which have made banks circumspect over lending.

"Is it of concern? Yes. Is it scary? No," Rajan told the Times of India, adding " The point is there are two or three silver linings in the cloud of distressed assets." He said many delayed infrastructure projects were "getting back on stream" as the economy improved, and booming equity markets will also help banks raise the required capital.

He also downplayed concerns that rising bad loans would lead to a liquidity crisis in the Indian banking system similar to the one witnessed globally after the Lehman Brothers went bust in 2008. "Unlike the banking crisis in the West, where the worry was who would pony up the money, here there is no uncertainty," he said. "The government will do it. It has never let any bank it owns go under."

New Delhi has been injecting funds into state lenders to help them meet minimal capital ratios mandated by Basel III norms. This year it will infuse 112 billion rupees. But analysts say more funds will be needed. With its finances in dire straits, the government plans to sell off a part of its holdings in the banks to help bridge their capital shortfall.

While a sluggish economy is the main reason for a rise in distressed assets, a RBI report last week also blamed lending to certain ‘excessively leveraged’ groups. The launch of a corruption investigation at state-controlled Syndicate Bank has raised broader concerns about weak oversight, graft and politically directed lending at state banks. Rajan said a change in the process of appointments at these banks will help address the issue. "When you are putting someone in charge of 5 trillion rupees of assets, you need an appointment process which is state-of-the-art," he said. "I think you can improve the process tremendously without going through the radical step of privatization."

Then RBI governor Raghuram Rajan says the objective is to limit retail inflation to 6% by 2016, but that doesn't necessarily mean monetary policy has to be tight all the way.

What does it mean?

Mind you,asked about when interest rate cuts can be expected, the Finance Minister said, “Left to myself, I would say, very soon. I hope that those who decide are also listening.”

Deficit concern

The decisions and policy making is the responsibility of the finance ministry which relies much on private parties and corporate lobbying which is just focused on free inflow of foreign capital and all round FDI raj.

Meanwhile,the prime minister is doing everything to open the floodgates of Japanese capital as well as technology for Indian economy as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Japan on Saturday seeking to capitalise on his affinity with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to strengthen security and business ties on his first major foreign visit since his landslide election victory in May.

Modi is one of only three people that Abe follows on Twitter, while the Indian leader admires the Japanese premier's brand of nationalist politics.

"We will explore how Japan can associate itself productively with my vision of inclusive development in India," Modi said before departing on Saturday for the five-day visit.

He listed manufacturing, infrastructure and energy as key areas for cooperation. In his previous role as the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi had actively courted Japanese investment.

Modi, 63, is embarking on an intense month of diplomacy in which he will receive Chinese President Xi Jinping before meeting U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington as he seeks to carve out a stronger role for India as a global player.

In Japan, he will lobby for Abe to back a nuclear energy pact, although hopes of striking a similar accord to one reached with the United States in 2008 had faded in the run-up to the visit.

Japan wants explicit guarantees from India, which has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to limit atomic tests and allow closer inspection of its facilities to ensure that spent fuel is not used to make bombs.

Speaking to Japanese reporters, Modi addressed those concerns: "Our track record of non-proliferation is impeccable," he said, adding that India would uphold a "unilateral and voluntary" moratorium on explosive nuclear weapons testing.

Also under discussion will be a proposal to formalise a 'Two Plus Two' format for talks bringing together the foreign and defence ministers of both countries, reflecting shared concerns about an increasingly assertive China.

BUDDHISM AND BULLET TRAINS

Modi was due to attend a dinner with Abe on Saturday evening in Kyoto, a city the Indian leader associates with a Buddhist heritage shared by both Japan and India.

Modi also hopes that Kyoto will serve as a template for his vision of building 100 'smart' cities in India - and to develop the ancient holy city of Varanasi on the river Ganges that he represents in parliament.

At his next stop in Tokyo, Modi will seek to drum up the inward investment he needs to bring to life the appeal to "Come, make in India" he made in a speech this month to mark India's independence day.

India, Asia's third-largest economy after China and Japan, needs faster economic growth to create work for the one million young people who enter the workforce every month.

In early steps, Modi has allowed foreign investors to own 100 percent of railway projects with an eye to drumming up interest in building India's answer to Japan's high-speed 'bullet' trains. He is also courting Japanese investment in an ambitious industrial "corridor" to run between Delhi and Mumbai.

Japan's Honda Motor Co Ltd, Suzuki Co Ltd, Sony Corp and Toyota Motor Corp are household names in India. Yet, India accounts for only 1.2 percent of Japan’s total outward foreign direct investment.

"Companies in Japan have been considering India over the last two, three years very actively, but probably the political environment was a little tricky," said Harish H.V., a partner and head of corporate finance at advisory firm Grant Thornton.

"Now that we have a new government which is considered pro-investment, ideally it's a good time."

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's comments to the Times of India came on the heels of U.S. jobs data which has heated up speculation over when the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates.
Any decision by the Fed to raise rates, which have been held near zero since December 2008, will have implications for economies like India, as it could lead to capital outflows from emerging markets.
That could put pressure on emerging market currencies, particularly those with economies running high current account deficits, as India was last summer when talk of the Fed trimming its monetary stimulus led to a sharp depreciation in the rupee.
India has since taken action to correct its current account deficit and increase foreign exchange reserves.
"We certainly have done a great deal of preparation and are in a very different position from the summer of 2013," Rajan told the newspaper.
"My sense is that even when the Fed withdraws, people, after an initial bout of withdrawal, may consider India a good place to leave their money."
Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, took over the reins at the RBI a year ago, when pressure on the rupee had become acute.
Having weathered that storm by taking by taking steps to boost currency reserves and narrow the current account gap, the rupee avoided a re-run of the crisis when the Fed actually began tapering last December.
Curbs on gold imports, such as higher duties, helped dramatically narrow India's current account deficit to $32.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March from $87.8 billion a year earlier.
India also built up its foreign exchange reserves, partly through measures that helped banks raise $34 billion in overseas loans and deposits from the Indian diaspora.
"We have plenty of reserves, but I see reserves as a second or third line of defence," Rajan said. "The primary line of defence is we should be attractive."
Gross domestic product data released on Friday showed India's lumbering economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in the quarter ending in June, and strengthening global demand should help boost exports.
Adding to the cheer, falling global crude prices have helped improve the health of public finances by drastically slashing the government's fuel subsidy bill.
The central banker, who predicted the global financial crisis in 2005, said his commitment to cool surging prices will also support the rupee when U.S. rates finally do rise.
Rajan wants to reduce retail inflation to 6 percent by 2016 from near 8 percent at present, and left interest rates steady early this month, citing inflationary risks from the weak summer monsoon rains.
Foreign relations of India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Republic of India

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v t e
India has formal diplomatic relations with most nations; it is the world's second most populous country, the world's most-populous democracy and one of the fastest growing major economies.[1] With the world's eighth largest military expenditure, third largest armed force, tenth largest economy by nominal rates and third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity,[2] India is a regional power,[3] a nascent great power and apotential superpower. India's growing international influence gives it a prominent voice in global affairs. The Economist magazine argues, however, that underinvestment in diplomacy and a lack of strategic vision have minimised India's influence in the world.[4]

India is a newly industrialised country, it has a long history of collaboration with several countries and is considered one of the leaders of the developing world along with China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa (the BRICS countries).[5][6] India was one of the founding members of several international organisations, most notably the United Nations, theAsian Development Bank, G20 industrial nations and the founder of the Non-aligned movement. India has also played an important and influential role in other international organisations like East Asia Summit,[7] World Trade Organisation,[8] International Monetary Fund (IMF),[9] G8+5[10] and IBSA Dialogue Forum.[11] Regionally, India is a part of SAARC and BIMSTEC. India has taken part in several UN peacekeeping missionsand in 2007, it was the second-largest troop contributor to the United Nations.[12] India is currently seeking a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, along with the G4 nations.[13]

Contents
1 History
2 Policy
2.1 Role of the Prime Minister
2.2 Ministry of External Affairs
2.3 Look East Policy
3 Overview
4 Strategic partners
5 Bilateral and regional relations
5.1 Neighbours
5.1.1 Afghanistan
5.1.2 Bangladesh
5.1.3 Bhutan
5.1.4 Burma/Myanmar
5.1.5 China
5.1.6 Maldives
5.1.7 Nepal
5.1.8 Pakistan
5.1.9 Sri Lanka
5.2 Asia–Pacific
5.2.1 Australia
5.2.2 Brunei
5.2.3 Fiji
5.2.4 Indonesia
5.2.5 Japan
5.2.6 Laos
5.2.7 Malaysia
5.2.8 Nauru
5.2.9 North Korea
5.2.10 Philippines
5.2.11 Singapore
5.2.12 South Korea
5.2.13 Taiwan
5.2.14 Thailand
5.2.15 Vietnam
5.2.16 ASEAN
5.3 Americas
5.3.1 Argentina
5.3.2 Barbados
5.3.3 Brazil
5.3.4 Canada
5.3.5 Colombia
5.3.6 Cuba
5.3.7 Jamaica
5.3.8 Mexico
5.3.9 Panama
5.3.10 Paraguay
5.3.11 Trinidad & Tobago
5.3.12 United States
5.3.12.1 Cold War era
5.3.12.2 After the Cold War
5.3.12.3 Pokhran tests
5.3.12.4 Post–11 September
5.3.12.5 Indo-USA strategic partnership
5.4 Europe
5.4.1 European Union
5.4.2 Denmark
5.4.3 Vatican City & the Holy See
5.4.4 United Kingdom
5.4.5 France
5.4.6 Italy
5.4.7 Germany
5.4.8 Greece
5.4.9 Norway
5.4.10 Spain
5.4.11 Turkey
5.4.12 Austria
5.4.13 Other European countries
5.5 West Asia
5.5.1 Arab states of the Persian Gulf
5.5.2 Bahrain
5.5.3 Egypt
5.5.4 Iran
5.5.5 Iraq
5.5.6 Israel
5.5.7 Lebanon
5.5.8 Oman
5.5.9 Palestine
5.5.10 Saudi Arabia
5.6 Russia and Central Asia
5.6.1 Russian Federation
5.6.2 Kazakhstan
5.6.3 Mongolia
5.6.4 Tajikistan
5.6.5 Uzbekistan
5.7 Africa
5.7.1 Ethiopia
5.7.2 Ghana
5.7.3 Ivory Coast
5.7.4 Liberia
5.7.5 Mauritius
5.7.6 Morocco
5.7.7 Namibia
5.7.8 Nigeria
5.7.9 Rwanda
5.7.10 Seychelles
5.7.11 South Africa
5.7.12 Mozambique
5.7.13 South Sudan
5.7.14 Sudan
5.7.15 Uganda
6 International organisations
6.1 Non-Aligned Movement
6.2 United Nations
6.3 World Trade Organisation
6.4 SAARC
7 International disputes
7.1 Bangladesh
7.2 Nepal
7.3 Maldives
7.4 Pakistan
7.5 People's Republic of China
8 Further reading
9 See also
10 References
11 External links
History[edit]
Even before independence, the Government of British India maintained semi-autonomous diplomatic relations. It had colonies (such as the Aden Settlement), who sent and received full diplomatic missions,[14] and was a founder member of both the League of Nations[15] and the United Nations.[16] After India gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, it soon joined the Commonwealth of Nations and strongly supported independence movements in other colonies, like the Indonesian National Revolution.[17] The partition and various territorial disputes, particularly that over Kashmir, would strain its relations with Pakistan for years to come. During the Cold War, India adopted a foreign policy of not aligning itself with any major power bloc. However, India developed close ties with the Soviet Union and received extensive military support from it.

The end of the Cold War significantly affected India's foreign policy, as it did for much of the world. The country now seeks to strengthen its diplomatic and economic ties with the United States,[18] the People's Republic of China,[19] the European Union,[20] Japan,[21] Israel,[22] Mexico,[23] and Brazil.[24] India has also forged close ties with the member states of theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations,[25] the African Union,[26] the Arab League[27] and Iran.[28]

Though India continues to have a military relationship with Russia,[29] Israel has emerged as India's second largest military partner[26] while India has built a strong strategic partnership with the United States.[18][30] The foreign policy of Narendra Modi indicated a shift towards focusing on the Asian region and, more broadly, trade deals.

Policy[edit]

States that host an Indian diplomatic mission
  India
  Nations that host an Indian diplomatic mission
India's foreign policy has always regarded the concept of neighbourhood as one of widening concentric circles, around a central axis of historical and cultural commonalities.[31]

Pranab Mukherjee, the formerFinance Minister of India and currentPresident of India with US PresidentGeorge W. Bush in 2008.
As many as 21 million people of Indian origin live and work abroad and constitute an important link with the mother country. An important role of India's foreign policy has been to ensure their welfare and well being within the framework of the laws of the country where they live.[32]

Role of the Prime Minister[edit]
Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, promoted a strong personal role for the Prime Minister but a weak institutional structure. Nehru served concurrently as Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs; he made all major foreign policy decisions himself after consulting with his advisers and then entrusted the conduct of international affairs to senior members of the Indian Foreign Service. He was the main founding fathers of the Panchsheel or the five principles of peaceful co-existence.

His successors continued to exercise considerable control over India's international dealings, although they generally appointed separate ministers of external affairs.[33][34][35]

India's second prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964–66), expanded the Prime Minister Office (sometimes called the Prime Minister's Secretariat) and enlarged its powers. By the 1970s, the Office of the Prime Minister had become the de facto coordinator and supraministry of the Indian government. The enhanced role of the office strengthened the prime minister's control over foreign policy making at the expense of the Ministry of External Affairs. Advisers in the office provided channels of information and policy recommendations in addition to those offered by the Ministry of External Affairs. A subordinate part of the office—theResearch and Analysis Wing (RAW)—functioned in ways that significantly expanded the information available to the prime minister and his advisers. The RAW gathered intelligence, provided intelligence analysis to the Office of the Prime Minister, and conducted covert operations abroad.

The prime minister's control and reliance on personal advisers in the Office of the Prime Minister was particularly strong under the tenures of Indira Gandhi (1966–77 and 1980–84) and her son, Rajiv (1984–89), who succeeded her, and weaker during the periods of coalition governments. Observers find it difficult to determine whether the locus of decision-making authority on any particular issue lies with the Ministry of External Affairs, the Council of Ministers, the Office of the Prime Minister, or the prime minister himself.[36]

The Prime Minister is however free to appoint advisers and special committees to examine various foreign policy options and areas of interest.[37] In a recent instance, Manmohan Singh appointed K. Subrahmanyam in 2005 to head a specialgovernment task force to study 'Global Strategic Developments' over the next decade.[38] The Task Force submitted its conclusions to the Prime Minister in 2006.[39][40] The report has not yet been released in the public domain.

Ministry of External Affairs[edit]
The Ministry of External Affairs is the Indian government's agency responsible for the foreign relations of India. The Minister of External Affairs holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers.

Sushma Swaraj is current Minister of External Affairs. The Ministry has two Ministers of State Preneet Kaur and E. Ahamed. The Indian Foreign Secretary is the head of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and therefore, serves as the head of all Indian ambassadors and high commissioners.[41] Sujatha Singh is the current Foreign Secretary of India.

Look East Policy[edit]
Main article: Look East Policy
In the post Cold War era, a significant aspect of India's foreign policy is the Look East Policy. During the cold war, India's relations with its South East Asian neighbours was not very strong. After the end of the cold war, the government of India particularly realised the importance of redressing this imbalance in India's foreign policy. Consequently, the Narsimha Rao government in the early nineties of the last century unveiled the look east policy. Initially it focused on renewing political and economic contacts with the countries of East and South-East Asia.

At present, under the Look East Policy, the Government of India is giving special emphasis on the economic development of backward north eastern region of India taking advantage of huge market of ASEAN as well as of the energy resources available in some of the member countries of ASEAN like Burma.[42] Look-east policy was launched in 1992 just after the end of the cold war, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. After the start of liberalisation, it was a very strategic policy decision taken by the government in the foreign policy. To quote Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "it was also a strategic shift in India's vision of the world and India's place in the evolving global economy".

The policy was given an initial thrust with the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao visiting China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore and India becoming an important dialogue partner with ASEAN in 1992. Since the beginning of this century, India has given a big push to this policy by becoming a summit level partner of ASEAN (2002) and getting involved in some regional initiatives such as the BIMSTEC and the Ganga–Mekong Cooperation and now becoming a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in December, 2005.[43]

Overview[edit]

Foreign relations of India
India's relations with the world have evolved since the British Raj (1857–1947), when the British Empire monopolised external and defence relations. When India gained independence in 1947, few Indians had experience in making or conducting foreign policy. However, the country's oldest political party, the Indian National Congress, had established a small foreign department in 1925 to make overseas contacts and to publicise its freedom struggle. From the late 1920s on, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had a long-standing interest in world affairs among independence leaders, formulated the Congress stance on international issues. As a member of the interim government in 1946, Nehru articulated India's approach to the world.[44]

India's international influence varied over the years after independence. Indian prestige and moral authority were high in the 1950s and facilitated the acquisition of developmental assistance from both East and West. Although the prestige stemmed from India's nonaligned stance, the nation was unable to prevent Cold War politics from becoming intertwined with interstate relations in South Asia.

In the 1960s and 1970s India's international position among developed and developing countries faded in the course of wars with China and Pakistan, disputes with other countries in South Asia, and India's attempt to balance Pakistan's support from the United States and China by signing the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in August 1971. Although India obtained substantial Soviet military and economic aid, which helped to strengthen the nation, India's influence was undercut regionally and internationally by the perception that its friendship with the Soviet Union prevented a more forthright condemnation of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. In the late 1980s, India improved relations with the United States, other developed countries, and China while continuing close ties with the Soviet Union. Relations with its South Asian neighbours, especially Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, occupied much of the energies of the Ministry of External Affairs.[45]

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India has forged a closer partnership with Western powers. Shown here is the then Prime MinisterManmohan Singh with US PresidentBarack Obama in 2009.
In the 1990s, India's economic problems and the demise of the bipolar world political system forced India to reassess its foreign policy and adjust its foreign relations. Previous policies proved inadequate to cope with the serious domestic and international problems facing India. The end of the Cold War gutted the core meaning of nonalignment and left Indian foreign policy without significant direction. The hard, pragmatic considerations of the early 1990s were still viewed within the nonaligned framework of the past, but the disintegration of the Soviet Union removed much of India's international leverage, for which relations with Russia and the other post-Soviet states could not compensate. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India improved its relations with the United States, Canada, France, Japan and Germany. In 1992, India established formal diplomatic relations with Israel and this relationship grew during the tenures of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and the subsequent UPA (United Progressive Alliance) governments.[46]

In the mid-1990s, India attracted the world attention towards the Pakistan-backed terrorism in Kashmir. The Kargil Warresulted in a major diplomatic victory for India. The United States and European Union recognised the fact that Pakistani military had illegally infiltrated into Indian territory and pressured Pakistan to withdraw from Kargil. Several anti-India militant groups based in Pakistan were labeled as terrorist groups by the United States and European Union.

India has often represented the interests of developing countries at various international platforms. Shown here are Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi,Dilma Rousseff, Xi Jinping and Jacob Zuma, during the 6th BRICS summit, 2014.
In 1998, India tested nuclear weapons for the second time (see Pokhran-II) which resulted in several US, Japanese and European sanctions on India. India's then-defence minister, George Fernandes, said that India's nuclear programme was necessary as it provided a deterrence to potential Chinese nuclear threat. Most of the sanctions imposed on India were removed by 2001.[47]

After 11 September attacks in 2001, Indian intelligence agencies provided the U.S. with significant information on Al-Qaeda and related groups' activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. India's extensive contribution to the War on Terror, coupled with a surge in its economy, has helped India's diplomatic relations with several countries. Over the past three years, India has held numerous joint military exercises with U.S. and European nations that have resulted in a strengthened U.S.-India and E.U.-Indiabilateral relationship. India's bilateral trade with Europe and United States has more than doubled in the last five years.[48]

India has been pushing for reforms in the UN and WTO with mixed results. India's candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council is currently backed by several countries including France, Russia,[49] the United Kingdom,[50] Germany, Japan, Brazil,[51] Australia[52] and UAE.[53] In 2004, the United States signed anuclear co-operation agreement with India even though the latter is not a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US argued that India's strong nuclear non-proliferation record made it an exception, however this has not persuaded otherNuclear Suppliers Group members to sign similar deals with India. During a state visit to India in November 2010, US president Barack Obama announced US support for India's bid for permanent membership to UN Security Council[54] as well as India's entry to Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group and Missile Technology Control Regime.[55][56]

Strategic partners[edit]
India's growing economy, strategic location, friendly foreign policy and large and vibrant diaspora has won it more allies than enemies.[57] India has friendly relations with several countries in the developing world. Though India is not a part of any major military alliance, it has close strategic and military relationship with most of the fellow major powers.

Countries considered India's closest include the Russian Federation,[58] Israel,[59] Afghanistan,[60] France,[61] Bhutan[62]and Bangladesh.[63] Russia is the largest supplier of military equipment to India, followed by Israel and France.[64] According to some analysts, Israel is set to overtake Russia as India's largest military and strategic partner.[65] The two countries also collaborate extensively in the sphere of counter-terrorism and space technology.[66] India also enjoys strong military relations with several other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States,[67] Japan,[68] Singapore, Brazil, South Africa and Italy.[69] In addition, India operates an airbase in Tajikistan[70] and signed a landmark defence accord with Qatar in 2008.[71]

India has also forged relationships with developing countries, especially South Africa, Brazil,[72] and Mexico.[73] These countries often represent the interests of the developing countries through economic forums such as the G8+5, IBSA andWTO. India was seen as one of the standard bearers of the developing world and claimed to speak for a collection of more than 30 other developing nations at the Doha Development Round.[74][75] India's "Look East" Policy has helped it develop greater economic and strategic partnership with Southeast Asian countries, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. India also enjoys friendly relations with the Persian Gulf countries and most members of the African Union.

Bilateral and regional relations[edit]
Neighbours[edit]

India and its neighbours
Afghanistan[edit]

Main article: Afghanistan–India relations
Bilateral relations between India and Afghanistan have been traditionally strong and friendly. While India was the only South Asian country to recognise the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, its relations were diminished during the Afghan civil wars and the rule of the Islamist Taliban in the 1990s.[76] India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid.[60][77]

The new democratically elected Afghan government strengthened its ties with India in wake of persisting tensions and problems with Pakistan, which is continuing to shelter and support the Taliban.[60][77] India pursues a policy of close cooperation to bolster its standing as a regional power and contain its rival Pakistan, which it maintains is supporting Islamic militants in Kashmir and other parts of India.[60] India is the largest regional investor in Afghanistan, having committed more than US$2.2 billion for reconstruction purposes.[78]

Bangladesh[edit]
Main article: Bangladesh-India relations

India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a separate and independent state, doing so on 6 December 1971, ten days before Bangladesh officially declared its independence. India fought alongside the Bangladeshis to liberate Bangladesh from West Pakistan, which was imposing its own culture upon the East Bengalis, in 1971. Bangladesh's relationship with India has been difficult in terms of irrigation and land border disputes post 1976. However, India has enjoyed favourable relationship with Bangladesh during governments formed by the Awami League in 1972 and 1996.

At the outset India's relations with Bangladesh could not have been stronger because of India's unalloyed support for independence and opposition against Pakistan in 1971. During the independence war, many refugees fled to India. When the struggle of resistance matured in November 1971, India also intervened militarily and may have helped bring international attention to the issue through Indira Gandhi's visit to Washington, D.C. Afterwards India furnished relief and reconstruction aid. India extended recognition to Bangladesh prior to the end of the war in 1971 (the second country to do so after Bhutan) and subsequently lobbied others to follow suit. India also withdrew its military from the land of Bangladesh when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman requested Indira Gandhi to do so during the latter's visit to Dhaka in 1972.[citation needed]

Indo-Bangladesh relations have been somewhat less friendly since the fall of Mujib government in August 1975.[79] over the years over issues such as South Talpatti Island, the Tin Bigha corridor and access to Nepal, the Farakka Barrage and water sharing, border conflicts near Tripura and the construction of a fence along most of the border which India explains as security provision against migrants, insurgents and terrorists. Many Bangladeshis feel India likes to play "big brother" to smaller neighbours, including Bangladesh. Bilateral relations warmed in 1996, due to a softer Indian foreign policy and the new Awami League Government. A 30-year water-sharing agreement for the Ganges River was signed in December 1996, after an earlier bilateral water-sharing agreement for the Ganges River lapsed in 1988. Both nations also have cooperated on the issue of flood warning and preparedness. The Bangladesh Government and tribal insurgents signed a peace accord in December 1997, which allowed for the return of tribal refugees who had fled into India, beginning in 1986, to escape violence caused by an insurgency in their homeland in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Bangladesh Army maintains a very strong presence in the area to this day. The army is increasingly concerned about a growing problem of cultivation of illegal drugs.

There are also small pieces of land along the border region that Bangladesh is diplomatically trying to reclaim. Padua, part of Sylhet Division before 1971, has been under Indian control since the war in 1971. This small strip of land was re-occupied by the BDR in 2001, but later given back to India after Bangladesh government decided to solve the problem through diplomatic negotiations. The Indian New Moore island no longer exists, but Bangladesh repeatedly claims it[80]) as part of the Satkhira district of Bangladesh.

In recent years India has increasingly complained that Bangladesh does not secure its border properly. It fears an increasing flow of poor Bangladeshis and it accuses Bangladesh of harbouring Indian separatist groups like ULFA and alleged terrorist groups. The Bangladesh government has refused to accept these allegations.[81][82] India estimates that over 20 million Bangladeshis are living illegally in India.[83] One Bangladeshi official responded that "there is not a single Bangladeshi migrant in India".[84] Since 2002, India has been constructing an India - Bangladesh Fence along much of the 2500 mile border.[85] The failure to resolve migration disputes bears a human cost for illegal migrants, such as imprisonment and health risks (namely HIV/Aids).[86]

Bhutan[edit]
Main article: Bhutan–India relations

Historically, there have been close ties with India. Both countries signed a friendship treaty in 1949, where India would assist Bhutan in foreign relations. On 8 February 2007, the Indo-Bhutan Friendship Treaty was substantially revised under the Bhutanese King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Whereas in the Treaty of 1949 Article 2 read as "The Government of India undertakes to exercise no interference in the internal administration of Bhutan. On its part the Government of Bhutan agrees to be guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations."

In the revised treaty it now reads as, "In keeping with the abiding ties of close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India, the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests. Neither government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other". The revised treaty also includes in it the preamble "Reaffirming their respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity", an element that was absent in the earlier version. The Indo-Bhutan Friendship Treaty of 2007 strengthens Bhutan's status as an independent and sovereign nation.

Tata Power is building a hydro-electric dam. This dam will greatly develop the Bhutanese economy by providing employment, and by selling electricity to India and fulfilling India's burgeoning energy needs. Due to this dam Bhutan's economy grew 20%, the second highest growth rate in the world.

Burma/Myanmar[edit]
Main article: Burma–India relations

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India was one of the leading supporters of Burmese independence and established diplomatic relations after Burma's independence from Great Britain in 1948. For many years, Indo-Burmese relations were strong due to cultural links, flourishing commerce, common interests in regional affairs and the presence of a significant Indian community in Burma.[87] India provided considerable support when Burma struggled with regional insurgencies. However, the overthrow of the democratic government by the Military of Burma led to strains in ties. Along with much of the world, India condemned the suppression of democracy and Burma ordered the expulsion of the Burmese Indian community, increasing its ownisolation from the world.[87][88] Only China maintained close links with Burma while India supported the pro-democracy movement.[87][89][90]

However, due to geo-political concerns, India revived its relations and recognised the military Junta ruling Burma in 1993, overcoming strains over drug trafficking, the suppression of democracy and the rule of the military junta in Burma. Burma is situated to the south of the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. and the proximity of the People's Republic of China gives strategic importance to Indo-Burmese relations. The Indo-Burmese border stretches over 1,600 kilometres[87] and some insurgents in North-east India seek refuge in Burma. Consequently, India has been keen on increasing military cooperation with Burma in its counter-insurgency activities. In 2001, the Indian Army completed the construction of a major road along its border with Burma. India has also been building major roads, highways, ports and pipelines within Burma in an attempt to increase its strategic influence in the region and also to counter China's growing strides in theIndochina peninsula. Indian companies have also sought active participation in oil and natural gas exploration in Burma.In February 2007, India announced a plan to develop the Sittwe port, which would enable ocean access from Indian Northeastern states like Mizoram, via the Kaladan River.

India is a major customer of Burmese oil and gas. In 2007, Indian exports to Burma totaled US$185 million, while its imports from Burma were valued at around US$810 million, consisting mostly of oil and gas.[91] India has granted US$100 million credit to fund highway infrastructure projects in Burma, while US$57 million has been offered to upgrade Burmese railways. A further US$27 million in grants has been pledged for road and rail projects.[92] India is one of the few countries that has provided military assistance to the Burmese junta.[93] However, there has been increasing pressure on India to cut some of its military supplies to Burma.[94] Relations between the two remain close which was evident in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, when India was one of the few countries whose relief and rescue aid proposals were accepted by Burma's ruling junta.[95]

Both India and the PRC mantain embassies in Rangoon and Consulate-Generals in Mandalay.

China[edit]
Main article: China–India relations

A Chinese container ship unloads cargo at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in India. Bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to surpass US$60 billion by 2010 making China the single largest trading partner of India.[96]
Despite lingering suspicions remaining from the 1962 Sino-Indian War and continuing boundary disputes over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, Sino-Indian relations have improved gradually since 1988. Both countries have sought to reduce tensions along the frontier, expand trade and cultural ties, and normalise relations.

A series of high-level visits between the two nations have helped improve relations. In December 1996, PRC President Jiang Zemin visited India during a tour of South Asia. While in New Delhi, he signed with the Indian Prime Minister a series of confidence-building measures for the disputed borders. Sino-Indian relations suffered a brief setback in May 1998 when the Indian Defence minister justified the country's nuclear tests by citing potential threats from the PRC. However, in June 1999, during the Kargil crisis, then-External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visited Beijing and stated that India did not consider China a threat. By 2001, relations between India and the PRC were on the mend, and the two sides handled the move from Tibet to India of the 17th Karmapa in January 2000 with delicacy and tact. In 2003, India formally recognised Tibet as a part of China, and China recognisedSikkim as a formal part of India in 2004.

Since 2004, the economic rise of both China and India has also helped forge closer relations between the two. Sino-Indian trade reached US$36 billion in 2007, making China the single largest trading partner of India.[97] The increasing economic reliance between India and China has also bought the two nations closer politically, with both India and China eager to resolve their boundary dispute.[98] They have also collaborated on several issues ranging from WTO's Doha round in 2008[99] to regional free trade agreement.[100] Similar to Indo-US nuclear deal, India and China have also agreed to cooperate in the field of civilian nuclear energy.[101] However, China's economic interests have clashed with those of India. Both the countries are the largest Asian investors in Africa[102] and have competed for control over its large natural resources.[103] India and China agreed to take bilateral trade up to US$100 billion on a recent visit by Wen Jiabao to India.

Maldives[edit]
Main article: India–Maldives relations

India enjoys a considerable influence over Maldives' foreign policy and provides extensive security co-operation especially after the Operation Cactus in 1988 during which India repelled Tamil mercenaries who invaded the country. As founder member in 1985 of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC, which brings together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the country plays a very active role in SAARC. The Maldives has taken the lead in calling for a South Asian Free Trade Agreement, the formulation of a Social Charter, the initiation of informal political consultations in SAARC forums, the lobbying for greater action on environmental issues, the proposal of numerous human rights measures such as the regional convention on child rights and for setting up a SAARC Human Rights Resource Centre. The Maldives is also an advocate of greater international profile for SAARC such as through formulating common positions at the UN.

India is starting the process to bring the island country into India's security grid. The move comes after the moderate Islamic nation approached New Delhi earlier this year over fears that one of its island resorts could be taken over by terrorists given its lack of military assets and surveillance capabilities.[104] India also signed an agreement with the Maldives in 2011 which is centred around the following:

India shall permanently base two helicopters in the country to enhance its surveillance capabilities and ability to respond swiftly to threats. One helicopter from the Coast Guard was handed over during Antony's visit while another from the Navy will be cleared for transfer shortly.
Maldives has coastal radars on only two of its 26 atolls. India will help set up radars on all 26 for seamless coverage of approaching vessels and aircraft.
The coastal radar chain in Maldives will be networked with the Indian coastal radar system. India has already undertaken a project to install radars along its entire coastline. The radar chains of the two countries will be interlinked and a central control room in India's Coastal Command will get a seamless radar picture.
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will carry out regular Dornier sorties over the island nation to look out for suspicious movements or vessels. The Southern Naval Command will facillitate the inclusion of Maldives into the Indian security grid.
Military teams from Maldives will visit the tri-services Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC) to observe how India manages security and surveillance of the critical island chain.
Nepal[edit]
Main article: India–Nepal relations

Relations between India and Nepal are close yet fraught with difficulties stemming from geography, economics, the problems inherent in big power-small power relations, and common ethnic and linguistic identities that overlap the two countries' borders. In 1950 New Delhi and Kathmandu initiated their intertwined relationship with the Treaty of Peace and Friendshipand accompanying letters that defined security relations between the two countries, and an agreement governing both bilateral trade and trade transiting Indian soil. The 1950 treaty and letters stated that "neither government shall tolerate any threat to the security of the other by a foreign aggressor" and obligated both sides "to inform each other of any serious friction or misunderstanding with any neighbouring state likely to cause any breach in the friendly relations subsisting between the two governments". Which granted the Indian and Nepali People not mandatory to have Work permit for any economic activity such as work and business related activity. These accords cemented a "special relationship" between India and Nepal that granted Nepal preferential economic treatment and provided Nepalese in India the same economic and educational opportunities as Indian citizens.

Pakistan[edit]
Main article: India–Pakistan relations

Despite historical, cultural and ethnic links between them, relations between India and Pakistan have been plagued by years of mistrust and suspicion ever since the partition of India in 1947. The principal source of contention between India and its western neighbor has been the Kashmir conflict. After an invasion by Pashtun tribesmen and Pakistani paramilitary forces, the Hindu Maharaja of the Dogra Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, and its Muslim Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah, signed an Instrument of Accession with New Delhi. The First Kashmir War started after the Indian Army enteredSrinagar, the capital of the state, to secure the area from the invading forces. The war ended in December 1948 with theLine of Control dividing the erstwhile princely state into territories administered by Pakistan (northern and western areas) and India (southern, central and northeastern areas). Pakistan contested the legality of the Instrument of Accession since the Dogra Kingdom has signed a standstill agreement with it. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 started following the failure of Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration. India and Pakistan went to war again in 1971, this time the conflict being over East Pakistan. The large-scale atrocities committed there by the Pakistan army led to millions of Bengali refugees pouring over into India. India, along with the Mukti Bahini, defeated Pakistan and the Pakistani forces surrendered on the eastern front. The war resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

In 1998, India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests which was followed by Pakistan's Chagai-I tests. Following the Lahore Declaration in February 1999, relations briefly improved. A few months later, however, Pakistani paramilitary forces andPakistani Army, infiltrated in large numbers into the Kargil district of Indian Kashmir. This initiated the Kargil conflict after India moved in thousands of troops to successfully flush out the infiltrators. Although the conflict did not result in a full-scale war between India and Pakistan, relations between the two reached all-time low which worsened even further following the involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines IC814 plane in December 1999. Attempts to normalise relations, such as the Agra summit held in July 2001, failed. An attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001, which was blamed on Pakistan, which had condemned the attack[105] caused a military standoff between the two countrieswhich lasted for nearly a year raising fears of a nuclear conflict. However, a peace process, initiated in 2003, led to improved relations in the following years.

Since the initiation of the peace process, several confidence-building-measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan have taken shape. The Samjhauta Express and Delhi–Lahore Bus service are two of these successful measures which have played a crucial role in expanding people-to-people contact between the two countries.[106] The initiation of Srinagar–Muzaffarabad Bus service in 2005 and opening of a historic trade route across the Line of Control in 2008 further reflects increasing eagerness between the two sides to improve relations. Although bilateral trade between India and Pakistan was a modest US$1.7 billion in March 2007, it is expected to cross US$10 billion by 2010. After the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, India sent aid to affected areas in Pakistani Kashmir and Punjab as well as Indian Kashmir.[107]

The 2008 Mumbai attacks seriously undermined the relations between the two countries. India alleged Pakistan of harboring militants on their soil, while Pakistan vehemently denies such claims.

Sri Lanka[edit]
Main article: India–Sri Lanka relations

Bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India have been generally friendly, but were affected by the Sri Lankan civil warand by the failure of Indian intervention during the Sri Lankan civil war as well as India's support for Tamil Tiger militants. India is Sri Lanka's only neighbour, separated by the Palk Strait; both nations occupy a strategic position in South Asia and have sought to build a common security umbrella in the Indian Ocean.[108]

India-Sri Lanka relations have undergone a qualitative and quantitative transformation in the recent past. Political relations are close, trade and investments have increased dramatically, infrastructural linkages are constantly being augmented, defence collaboration has increased and there is a general, broad-based improvement across all sectors of bilateral cooperation. India was the first country to respond to Sri Lanka's request for assistance after the tsunami in December 2004. In July 2006, India evacuated 430 Sri Lankan nationals from Lebanon, first to Cyprus by Indian Navy ships and then to Delhi and Colombo by special Air India flights.

There exists a broad consensus within the Sri Lankan polity on the primacy of India in Sri Lanka's external relations matrix. Both the major political parties in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United Nationalist Party have contributed to the rapid development of bilateral relations in the last ten years. Sri Lanka has supported India's candidature to the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.[109]

Asia–Pacific[edit]
Australia[edit]
Main article: Australia–India relations

The strongest ties between these two states is the commonwealth connection. Cricketing and Bollywood ties also help foster relations as in the frequent travel for games, and, more importantly, the presence of Australian cricketers in India for commercial gain. This was further enhanced with the IPL, and, to a lesser degree, the ICL. Bollywood has also improved ties as with John Howard's visit to Mumbai to increase tourism to Australia.[110] Furthermore, there is a going strategic connexion to forming an "Asian NATO" with India, Japan, the US and Australia.[111] The bilateral agreements have worked out for all but the Indo-Australian angle, though this has been hurt by India's refusal to sign the NPT and Australia's consequent refusal to provide India with uranium until the latter do so. However, Australia has now cleared uranium sales to India by Labour party decision in Australian parliament and by this development the relations between both the commonwealth nations are set to improve. The Australian and Indian militaries have already worked well together. Of late the relations between the two countries were jolted, with attacks on Indian Community students in Melbourne, Australia. Indian Government lodged strong protests with the Australian Government. Australian Prime Minister Mr. Kevin Rudd said that "Australia valued its education system and International Students are valued more here in Australia." Mr. Rudd though said that his Govt. has ordered a thorough probe into the attacks and also condemned it in strongest possible terms, and whilst no significant break-through was achieved immediately, during the last couple of years the attacks have been virtually eliminated by strong police enforcement and community involvement. Under the leadership of Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard the relations between both the nations have significantly improved on part due to her holistic approach in relations.[112][113]

Brunei[edit]

Main article: Brunei–India relations
Brunei has a high commission in New Delhi, and India has a high commission in Bandar Seri Begawan. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Fiji[edit]
Main article: Fiji–India relations

Fijis relationship with the Republic of India is often seen by observers against the backdrop of the sometimes tense relations between its indigenous people and the 44 percent of the population who are of Indian descent. India has used its influence in international forums such as the Commonwealth of Nations and United Nations on behalf of ethnic Indians in Fiji, lobbying for sanctions against Fiji in the wake of the 1987 coups and the 2000 coup, both of which removed governments, one dominated and one led, by Indo-Fijians.

Indonesia[edit]
Main article: India–Indonesia relations

Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughterIndira Gandhi with Sukarno, Megawati Sukarnoputri and Guntur, during stately visit to Indonesia in June 1950.
The ties between Indonesia and India date back to the times of the Ramayana,[114]"Yawadvipa" (Java) is mentioned in India's earliest epic, the Ramayana. Sugriva, the chief of Rama's army dispatched his men to Yawadvipa, the island of Java, in search of Sita.[115] Indonesians had absorbed many aspects of Indian culture since almost two millennia ago. The most obvious trace is the large adoption of Sanskrit into Indonesian language. Several of Indonesian toponymy has Indian parallel or origin, such as Madura with Mathura, Serayu and Sarayu rivers, Kalingga from Kalinga Kingdom, and Ngayogyakarta from Ayodhya. Indianised Hindu–Buddhist kingdoms, such as Kalingga, Srivijaya, Medang i Bhumi Mataram, Sunda, Kadiri, Singhasariand Majapahit were the predominant governments in Indonesia, and lasted from 200[116] to the 1500s, with the last remaining being in Bali. The example of profound Hindu-Buddhist influences in Indonesian history are the 9th century Prambanan andBorobudur temples.

In 1950, the first President of Indonesia – Sukarno called upon the peoples of Indonesia and India to "intensify the cordial relations" that had existed between the two countries "for more than 1000 years" before they had been "disrupted" by colonial powers.[117] In the spring of 1966, the foreign ministers of both countries began speaking again of an era of friendly relations. India had supported Indonesian independence and Nehru had raised the Indonesian question in the United Nations Security Council.

India has an embassy in Jakarta[118] and Indonesia operates an embassy in Delhi.[119] India regards Indonesia as a key member of ASEAN. Today, both countries maintain cooperative and friendly relations. India and Indonesia is one of the few (and also one of the largest) democracies in Asian region which can be projected as a real democracy.[120] Both nations had agreed to establish a strategic partnership.[121] As a fellow Asian democracies that shares common value, it is natural for both countries to nurture and foster strategic alliance. Indonesia and India are member states of the G-20, the E7 (countries), the Non-aligned Movement, and the United Nations.

Japan[edit]
Main article: India–Japan relations

Two Japanese Naval warships took part in Malabar 2007 off India's western coast, one of the few such multilateral exercises Japan has ever taken part in symbolising close military cooperation between India and Japan.
India-Japan relations have always been strong. India has culturally influenced Japan through Buddhism. During the Indian Independence Movement, the Japanese Imperial Army helped Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army. Relations have remained warm since India's independence. Japanese companies, like Sony, Toyota, and Honda, have manufacturing facilities in India, and with the growth of the Indian economy, India is a big market for Japanese firms. The most prominent Japanese company to have a big investment in India is automobiles giantSuzuki which is in partnership with Indian automobiles company Maruti Suzuki, the largest car manufacturer in India. Honda was also a partner in "Hero Honda", one of the largest motor cycle sellers in the world (the companies split in 2011[122]).

According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's arc of freedom theory, it is in Japan's interests to develop closer ties with India, world's most populous democracy, while its relations with China remain chilly. To this end, Japan has funded many infrastructure projects in India, most notably in New Delhi's metro subway system.[123] In December 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Japan culminated in the signing of the "Joint Statement Towards Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership". Indian applicants were welcomed in 2006 to the JET Programme, starting with just one slot available in 2006 and 41 in 2007. Also, in 2007, the Japanese Self Defence Forces took part in a naval exercise in the Indian Ocean, known as Malabar 2007, which also involved the naval forces of India, Australia, Singapore and the United States.

In October 2008, Japan signed an agreement with India under which it would grant the latter a low-interest loan worth US$4.5 billion to construct a high-speed rail line between Delhi and Mumbai. This is the single largest overseas project being financed by Japan and reflects growing economic partnership between the two.[124] India and Japan signed a security cooperation agreement[125] in which both will hold military exercises, police the Indian Ocean and conduct military-to-military exchanges on fighting terrorism, making India one of only three countries, the other two being the United States and Australia, with which Japan has such a security pact.[126] There are 25,000 Indians in Japan as of 2008.

Laos[edit]

In recent years, India has endeavoured to build relations, with this small Southeast Asian nation. They have strong military relations, and India shall be building an Airforce Academy in Laos.[127]

Malaysia[edit]
Main article: India–Malaysia relations

India has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in New Delhi. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Asian Union. India and Malaysia are also connected by various cultural and historical ties that date back to antiquity. The two countries are on friendly terms with each other and Malaysia harbours a small population of Indian immigrants. Mahathir bin Mohamad the fourth and longest serving Prime Minister of Malaysia is of Indian origin. His father Mohamad Iskandar, is a Malayalee Muslim who migrated from Kerala and his mother Wan Tampawan, is a Malay.[128]

Nauru[edit]
Main article: India-Nauru relations

India and Nauru relations have been established since the island nation's independence in 1968. Leaders of both countries have been meeting on the sidelines of some of the international forums of which both the nations are part of such as the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. India is one of the largest donors to the island by improving the education ministry and creating transportation and computer connections for the MP's and the Speaker of the parliament. There were numerous visits by the president of Nauru to the republic for further strengthen in ties and cooperation.[129]

North Korea[edit]

Main article: India-North Korea relations
India and North Korea have growing trade and diplomatic relations. India maintains a fully functioning embassy in Pyongyang, and North Korea has an embassy in New Delhi. India has said that it wants the "reunification" of Korea[130]

Philippines[edit]
Main article: India–Philippines relations

Through the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires, Hindu influence has been visible in Philippine history from the 10th to 14th century A.D. During the 18th century, there was robust trade between Manila and the Coromandel Coast of Bengal, involving Philippine exports of tobacco, silk, cotton, indigo, sugar cane and coffee. The Philippines established diplomatic relations with India on 16 November 1949. The first Philippine envoy to India was the late Foreign Secretary Narciso Ramos. Seven years after India's independence in 1947, the Philippines and India signed a Treaty of Friendship on 11 July 1952 in Manila to strengthen the friendly relations existing between the two countries. Soon after, the Philippine Legation in New Delhi was established and then elevated to an Embassy.[131] However, due to foreign policy differences as a result of the bipolar alliance structure of the Cold War, the development of bilateral relations was stunted. It was only in 1976 that relations started to normalise when Mr. Aditya Birla, one of India's successful industrialists, met with then President Ferdinand E. Marcos to explore possibilities of setting up joint ventures in the Philippines. Today, like India, the Philippines is the leading voice-operated business process outsourcing (BPO) source in terms of revenue (US$5.7) and number of people (500,000) employed in the sector. In partnership with the Philippines, India has 20 IT/BPO companies in the Philippines. Philippines-India bilateral trade stood at US$986.60 million dollars in 2009. In 2004 it was US$600 million. Both countries aim to reach US$1 billion by 2010. There are 60,000 Indians living in the Philippines. The Philippines and India signed in October 2007 the Framework for Bilateral Cooperation which created the PH-India JCBC. It has working groups in trade, agriculture, tourism, health, renewable energy and a regular policy consultation mechanism and security dialogue.

Singapore[edit]
Main article: India–Singapore relations

Singapore Navy frigate RSSFormidable (68) steams alongside theIndian Navy frigate INS Brahmaputra (F 31) in the Bay of Bengal. Singapore is one of India's strongest allies in South East Asia.
India and Singapore share long-standing cultural, commercial and strategic relations, with Singapore being a part of the "Greater India" cultural and commercial region. More than 300,000 people of Indian origin live in Singapore. Following its independence in 1965, Singapore was concerned with China-backed communist threats as well as domination from Malaysia and Indonesia and sought a close strategic relationship with India, which it saw as a counterbalance to Chinese influence and a partner in achieving regional security.[132] Singapore had always been an important strategic trading post, giving India trade access to Maritime Southeast Asia and the Far East. Although the rival positions of both nations over the Vietnam War and the Cold War caused consternation between India and Singapore, their relationship expanded significantly in the 1990s;[132] Singapore was one of the first to respond to India's "Look East" Policy of expanding its economic, cultural and strategic ties in Southeast Asia to strengthen its standing as a regional power.[132] Singapore, and especially, the Singaporean Foreign Minister, George Yeo, have taken an interest, in re-establishing the ancient Indian university, Nalanda University.

Singapore is the 8th largest source of investment in India and the largest amongst ASEAN member nations.[132][133] It is also India's 9th biggest trading partner as of 2005–06.[132] Its cumulative investment in India totals US$3 billion as of 2006 and is expected to rise to US 5 billion by 2010 and US 10 billion by 2015.[132][134][135] India's economic liberalisation and its "Look East" policy have led to a major expansion in bilateral trade, which grew from USD 2.2 billion in 2001 to US 9–10 billion in 2006 – a 400% growth in span of five years – and to USD 50 billion by 2010.[132][134][135] Singapore accounts for 38% of India's trade with ASEAN member nations and 3.4% of its total foreign trade.[132] India's main exports to Singapore in 2005 included petroleum, gemstones, jewellery, machinery and its imports from Singapore included electronic goods, organic chemicals and metals. More than half of Singapore's exports to India are basically "re-exports" – items that had been imported from India.[132][133]

South Korea[edit]
Main article: India–South Korea relations

The cordial relationship between the two countries extends back to 48AD, when Queen Suro, or Princess Heo, travelled from the kingdom of Ayodhya to Korea.[136] According to the Samguk Yusa, the princess had a dream about a heavenly king who was awaiting heaven's anointed ride. After Princess Heo had the dream, she asked her parents, the king and queen, for permission to set out and seek the man, which the king and queen urged with the belief that god orchestrated the whole fate.[137] Upon approval, she set out on a boat, carrying gold, silver, a tea plant, and a stone which calmed the waters.[136]Archeologists discovered a stone with two fish kissing each other, a symbol of the Gaya kingdom that is unique to the Mishraroyal family in Ayodhya, India. This royal link provides further evidence that there was an active commercial engagements between India and Korea since the queen's arrival to Korea.[136] Current descendants live in the city of Kimhae as well as abroad in America's state of New Jersey and Kentucky. Many of them became prominent and well-known around the world like President Kim Dae Jung, Prime Minister Jong Pil Kim.

The relations between the countries have been relatively limited, although much progress arose during the three decades. Since the formal establishment of the diplomatic ties between two countries in 1973, several trade agreements have been reached. Trade between the two nations has increased exponentially, exemplified by the $530 million during the fiscal year of 1992–1993, and the $10 billion during 2006–2007.[138] During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, South Korean businesses sought to increase access to the global markets, and began trade investments with India.[138] The last two presidential visits from South Korea to India were in 1996 and 2006,[139] and the embassy works between the two countries are seen as needing improvements.[140] Recently, there have been acknowledgements in the Korean public and political spheres that expanding relations with India should be a major economical and political priority for South Korea. Much of the economic investments of South Korea have been drained into China;[141] however, South Korea is currently the fifth largest source of investment in India.[142] To the Times of India, President Roh voiced his opinion that cooperation between India's software and Korea's IT industries would bring very efficient and successful outcomes.[139] The two countries agreed to shift their focus to the revision of the visa policies between the two countries, expansion of trade, and establishment of free trade agreement to encourage further investment between the two countries. Korean companies such as LG, Hyundai andSamsung have established manufacturing and service facilities in India, and several Korean construction companies won grants for a portion of the many infrastructural building plans in India, such as the "National Highway Development Project".[142] Tata Motor's purchase of Daewoo Commercial Vehicles at the cost of $102 million highlights the India's investments in Korea, which consist mostly of subcontracting.[142]

Chinese Expedition Army (nowRepublic of China Army) boarding planes for India.
Taiwan[edit]
Main article: Republic of China–India relations

The bilateral relations between India and Taiwan (officially Republic of China) have improved since the 1990s despite both nations not maintaining official diplomatic relations,[90][142] India recognises only the People's Republic of China and not the Republic of China's contention of being the legitimate government of territorial China– a conflict that emerged after the Chinese Civil War (1945–49). However, India's economic & Commercial links as well as people-to-people contacts with Taiwan have expanded in recent years.[142]

The most significant evidence of Taiwan-India relations warming up was provided when ROC President Ma Ying-jeou made a stopover in Mumbai en route to Africa in early April, 2012, an event that went almost unnoticed by India's media. The visit, part of a phenomenon called "refueling diplomacy," is historic because India had never allowed a serving ROC president to land on Indian soil.[142]

Thailand[edit]
Main article: India–Thailand relations

India's Look East policy, saw India grow relations with ASEAN countries including Thailand, and Thailand's Look West policy, also saw it grow its relations with India. Both countries are members of BIMSTEC. Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Manmohan Singh, have visited Thailand, which were reciprocated by contemporary Thai Prime Ministers Chatichai Choonhavan, Thaksin Sinawatra, and Surayud Chulanont. In 2003, a Free Trade Agreement was signed between the two countries. India, is the 13th largest investor in Thailand. The spheres of trade are in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, nylon, tyre cord, real estate, rayon fibres, paper grade pulps, steel wires, and rods. However, IT services, and manufacturing, are the main spheres. Through Buddhism, India, has culturally influenced Thailand. The Indian epics, Mahabharata, and Ramayana, are popular and are widely taught in schools as part of the curriculum in Thailand. The example can also be seen in temples around Thailand, where the story of Ramayana and renowned Indian folk stories are depicted on the temple wall. Thailand, has become a big tourist destination for Indians.

Vietnam[edit]
Main article: India–Vietnam relations

India supported Vietnam's independence from France, opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and supported unification of Vietnam. India established official diplomatic relations in 1972 and maintained friendly relations, especially in the wake of Vietnam's hostile relations with the People's Republic of China, which had become India's strategic rival.[143]

India granted the "Most Favoured Nation" status to Vietnam in 1975[143] and both nations signed a bilateral trade agreement in 1978 and the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) on 8 March 1997.[144] In 2007, a fresh joint declaration was issued during the state visit of the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung.[145] Bilateral trade has increased rapidly since the liberalisation of the economies of both Vietnam and India.[143] India is the 13th-largest exporter to Vietnam, with exports have grown steadily from US$11.5 million in 1985–86 to USD 395.68 million by 2003.[144] Vietnam's exports to India rose to USD 180 million, including agricultural products, handicrafts, textiles, electronics and other goods.[146] Between 2001 and 2006, the volume of bilateral trade expanded at 20–30% per annum to reach $1 billion by 2006.[147][148] Continuing the rapid pace of growth, bilateral trade is expected to rise to $2 billion by 2008, two years ahead of the official target.[148][149] India and Vietnam have also expanded cooperation in information technology, education and collaboration of the respective national space programmes.[145] Direct air links and lax visa regulations have been established to bolster tourism.[150]

India and Vietnam are members of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, created to develop to enhance close ties between India and nations of Southeast Asia. Vietnam has supported India's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).[151] In the 2003 joint declaration, India and Vietnam envisaged creating an "Arc of Advantage and Prosperity" in Southeast Asia;[145] to this end, Vietnam has backed a more important relationship and role between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its negotiation of an Indo–ASEAN free trade agreement.[143][145] India and Vietnam have also built strategic partnerships, including extensive cooperation on developing nuclear power, enhancing regional security and fighting terrorism, transnational crime and drug trafficking.[90][145][146]

ASEAN[edit]
For more details on this topic, see ASEAN–India Free Trade Area.
India's interaction with ASEAN in the Cold War–era was very limited. India declined to get associated with ASEAN in the 1960s when full membership was offered even before the grouping was formed.[43]

It is only with the formulation of the Look East policy in the last decade (1992), India had started giving this region due importance in the foreign policy. India became a sectoral dialogue partner with ASEAN in 1992, a full dialogue partner in 1995, a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1996, and a summit-level partner (on par with China, Japan and Korea) in 2002.

The first India–ASEAN Business Summit was held at New Delhi in October 2002. The then Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayeeaddressed this meet and since then this business summit has become an annual feature before the India–ASEAN Summits, as a forum for networking and exchange of business experiences between policy makers and business leaders from ASEAN and India.

Four India-ASEAN Summits, first in 2002 at Phnom Penh (Cambodia), second in 2003 at Bali, Indonesia, third in 2004 at Vientiane, Laos, and the fourth in 2005 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have taken place.

The following agreements have been entered into with ASEAN:

Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (for establishing a FTA in a time frame of 10 years) was concluded in Bali in 2003.
An ASEAN-India Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism has been adopted.
India has acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in 2003, on which ASEAN was formed initially (in 1967).
Agreement on "India-ASEAN Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity" was signed at the 3rd ASEAN-India Summit in November 2004.
Setting up of Entrepreneurship Development Centres in ASEAN member states – Cambodia, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam. (The one in Laos is already functional)
The following proposals were announced by the Prime Minister at the 4th ASEAN-India Summit:

Setting up centres for English Language Training (ELT) in Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam.
Setting up a tele-medicine and tele-education network for Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Vietnam.
Organising special training courses for diplomats from ASEAN countries.
Organising an India-ASEAN Technology Summit in 2006.
Organising education fairs and road shows in ASEAN countries.
Conducting an India-ASEAN IT Ministerial and Industry Forum in 2006.
The ASEAN region has an abundance of natural resources and significant technological skills. These provide a natural base for the integration between ASEAN and India in both trade and investment. The present level of bilateral trade with ASEAN of nearly US$18 billion is reportedly increasing by about 25% per year. India hopes to reach the level of US$30 billion by 2007. India is also improving its relations with the help of other policy decisions like offers of lines of credit, better connectivity through air (open skies policy), rail and road links.[43]

Americas[edit]
India's commonalities with developing nations in Latin America, especially Brazil and Mexico have continued to grow. India and Brazil continue to work together on the reform of Security Council through the G4 nations while have also increased strategic and economic cooperation through the IBSA Dialogue Forum. The process of finalising Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with MERCOSUR (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay) is on the itinerary and negotiations are being held with Chile.[152] Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was the guest of honour at the 2004 Republic Daycelebrations in New Delhi.[153]

(L-R): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and PresidentPratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Argentina[edit]

Formal relations between both the countries were first established in 1949. India has an embassy in Buenos Aires and Argentina has an embassy in New Delhi. The current Indian Ambassador to Argentina (concurrently accredited to Uruguay and Paraguay) is R Viswanathan. According to the Ministry of External Affairs of theGovernment of India, "Under the 1968 Visa agreement, (Argentine)fees for transit and tourist visas have been abolished. Under the new visa agreement signed during Argentine Presidential visit in October 2009, it has been agreed that five-year multi-entry business visas would be given free of cost. The Embassy of India in Buenos Aires gives Cafe Con Visa (coffee with visa) to Argentine visitors. The applicants are invited for coffee and visa is given immediately. This has been praised by the Argentine media, public and the Foreign Minister himself.[154]

Barbados[edit]

India and Barbados established diplomatic relations on 30 November 1966 (the date of Barbados' national independence).[155] On that date, the government of India gifted Barbados the throne in Barbados' national House of Assembly.[156] India is represented in Barbados through its embassy in Suriname[157][158][159] and an Indian consulate inHoletown, St. James.[160] In 2011-12 the Indian-based firm Era's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, established the American University of Barbados (AUB), as the island's first Medical School for international students. Today around 3,000 persons from India call Barbados home. Two-thirds are from the India's Surat district of Gujarat known as Suratis. Most of the Suratis are involved in trading. The rest are mainly Sindhis.

Brazil[edit]
Main article: Brazil–India relations

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseffwith then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.
A group called the Filhos de Gandhi (Sons of Gandhi) participates regularly in the carnival in Salvador. Private Brazilian organisations occasionally invite Indian cultural troupes.

In recent years,[when?] relations between Brazil and India have grown considerably and co-operation between the two countries has been extended to such diverse areas as science and technology, pharmaceuticals and space. The two-way trade in 2007 nearly tripled to US$3.12 billion from US$1.2 billion in 2004. India attaches tremendous importance to its relationship with this Latin American giant and hopes to see the areas of co-operation expand in the coming years.

Both countries want the participation of developing countries in the UNSC permanent membership since the underlying philosophy for both of them are: UNSC should be more democratic, legitimate and representative – the G4 is a novel grouping for this realisation. Brazil and India are deeply committed to IBSA (South-South cooperation) initiatives and attach utmost importance to this trilateral cooperation between the three large, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-religious developing countries, which are bound by the common principle of pluralism and democracy.

Flag Commander of Western Fleet of Indian Navy while briefing a press conference on a joint Indo-Canadian naval exercise.
Canada[edit]
Main article: Canada–India relations

Indo-Canadian relations, are the longstanding bilateral relations between India and Canada, which are built upon a "mutual commitment to democracy", "pluralism", and "people-to-people links", according to the government of Canada. In 2004, bilateral trade between India and Canada was at about C$2.45 billion. However, the botched handling of the Air India investigation and the case in general suffered a setback to Indo-Canadian relations. India's Smiling Buddha nuclear test led to connections between the two countries being frozen, with allegations that India broke the terms of the Colombo Plan. Although Jean Chrétien and Roméo LeBlanc both visited India in the late 1990s, relations were again halted after the Pokhran-II tests.

Canada-India relations have been on an upward trajectory since 2005. Governments at all levels, private-sector organisations, academic institutes in two countries, and people-to-people contacts—especially diaspora networks—have contributed through individual and concerted efforts to significant improvements in the bilateral relationship. The two governments have agreed on important policy frameworks to advance the bilateral relationship. In particular, the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (signed in June 2010) and the current successful negotiations of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) constitute a watershed in Canada-India relations. The two governments have attempted to make up for lost time and are eager to complete CEPA negotiations by 2013 and ensure its ratification by 2014. After conclusion of CEPA, Canada and India must define the areas for their partnership which will depend on their ability to convert common interests into common action and respond effectively for steady cooperation. For example, during "pull-aside" meetings between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper at the G-20 summit in Mexico in June 2012, and an earlier meeting in Toronto between External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and John Baird, the leaders discussed developing a more comprehensive partnership going beyond food security and including the possibility of tie-ups in the energy sector, mainly hydrocarbon.

Colombia[edit]
Main article: Colombia–India relations

Both countries established diplomatic ties on 19 January 1959. Since then the relationship between the two countries has been gradually increasing with more frequent diplomatic visits to promote political, commercial cultural and academic exchanges. Colombia is currently the commercial point of entry into Latin America for Indian companies.[161]

Cuba[edit]

Relations between India and Cuba are relatively warm. Both nations are part of the Non-Aligned Movement. Cuba has repeatedly called for a more "democratic" representation of the United Nations Security Council and supports India's candidacy as a permanent member on a reformed Security Council.[162] Fidel Castro said that "The maturity of India…, its unconditional adherence to the principles which lay at the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement give us the assurances that under the wise leadership of Indira Gandhi (the former Prime Minister of India), the non-aligned countries will continue advancing in their inalienable role as a bastion for peace, national independence and development…" [163]

India has an embassy in Havana, the capital of Cuba which opened in January 1960. This had particular significance as it symbolised Indian solidarity with the Cuban revolution.[164] India had been one of the first countries in the world to have recognised the new Cuban government after the Cuban Revolution[165]

Cuba has an embassy in New Delhi, the Indian capital.[166]

Jamaica[edit]
Main article: India-Jamaica relations

Relations between India and Jamaica are generally cordial and close. There are many cultural and political connexions inherited from British colonisation, such as membership in the Commonwealth of Nations, parliamentary democracy, the English language and cricket.[167][168]

Both nations are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, the United Nations and the Commonwealth, and Jamaica supports India's candidacy for permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council.

During the British era, Indian slaves were transported to serve in Jamaica and the West Indies. This has created a considerable population of People of Indian origin in Jamaica. India has a High Commission in Kingston,[167] whilst Jamaica has a consulate in New Delhi[169] and plans to upgrade it to a High Commission soon.

Mexico[edit]
Main article: India–Mexico relations

Mexico is a very important and major economic partner of India. Nobel Prize laureate and ambassador to India Octavio Pazwrote is book In Light of India which is an analysis of Indian history and culture.[170] Both nations are regional powers and members of the G-20.

India has an embassy in Mexico City.[171]
Mexico has an embassy in New Delhi.[172]
Panama[edit]
Main article: India–Panama relations

Bilateral relations between Panama and India have been growing steadily, reflecting the crucial role the Panama Canal plays in global trade and commerce. Moreover, with over 15,000 Indians living in Panama, diplomatic ties have considerably increased over the past decade.

The opening of the expanded Canal in 2015 will provide new prospects for maritime connectivity. In seeking to rapidly strengthen trade relations such the flow of trade triples between the two countries, India is keen to leverage these transit trade facilities in Panama to access the wider Latin American market. Along with pursuing a free trade agreement, India wants to promote investment in various sectors of Panama's economy, including the banking and maritime industry and the multimodal center of the Colón Free Trade Zone.[173]

Paraguay[edit]

See also: India–Paraguay relations
The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Paraguay have been traditionally strong due to strong commercial, cultural and strategic cooperation. India is represented in Paraguay through its embassy in Buenos Aires in Argentina. India also has an Honorary Consul General in Asuncion. Paraguay opened its embassy in India in 2005.[174]

Trinidad & Tobago[edit]

Bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago have considerably expanded in recent years with both nations building strategic and commercial ties. Both nations formally established diplomatic relations in 1962.[175]

Both nations were colonised by the British Empire; India supported independence of Trinidad and Tobago from colonial rule and established its diplomatic mission in 1962 - the year that Trinidad and Tobago officially gained independence from British rule. They possess diverse natural and economic resources and are the largest economies in their respective regions. Both are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, G-77 and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The Republic of India operates a High Commission in Port of Spain, whilst the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago operates a High Commission in New Delhi.

United States[edit]
Main article: India–United States relations

Historically, relations between India and the United States were lukewarm following Indian independence, as India took a leading position in the Non-Aligned Movement, and pursued even-handed economic and military relations with the Soviet Union, although US provided support to India in 1962 during its war with China. For most of the Cold War, the USA tended to have warmer relations with Pakistan, primarily as a way to contain Soviet-friendly India and to use Pakistan to back the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. An Indo-Soviet twenty year friendship treaty, signed in 1971, also positioned India against the USA.

Cold War era[edit]
India played a key role in establishing the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Though India pursued close relations with both the US and the USSR, it decided not to join any major power bloc and refrained from joining military alliances. India, however began establishing close relations with the Soviet Union.

After the Sino-Indian War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, India made considerable changes to its foreign policy. It developed a close relationship with the Soviet Union and started receiving massive military equipment and financial assistance from the USSR. This had an adverse effect on the Indo-US relationship. The United States saw Pakistan as a counterweight to pro-Soviet India and started giving the former military assistance. This created an atmosphere of suspicion between India and the US. The Indo-US relationship suffered a considerable setback when the Soviets took over Afghanistan when India overtly supported the Soviet Union.

United States President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi in 1971. They had a deep personal antipathy that coloured bilateral relations.
Relations between India and the United States came to an all-time low during the early 1970s. Despite reports of atrocities in East Pakistan, and being told, most notably in the Blood telegram, of genocidal activities being perpetrated by Pakistani forces, US. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and US President Richard Nixon did nothing to discourage then Pakistani President Yahya Khan and the Pakistan Army. Kissinger was particularly concerned about Soviet expansion into South Asia as a result of a treaty of friendship that had recently been signed between India and the Soviet Union, and sought to demonstrate to the People's Republic of China the value of a tacit alliance with the United States.[176] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Indian Armed Forces, along with the Mukti Bahini, succeeded in liberating East Pakistan which soon declared independence. Richard Nixon, then USA President, feared that an Indian invasion of West Pakistan would mean total Soviet domination of the region, and that it would seriously undermine the global position of the United States and the regional position of America's new tacit ally, China. In order to demonstrate to China the bona fides of the United States as an ally, and in direct violation of the Congress-imposed sanctions on Pakistan, Nixon sent military supplies to Pakistan, routing them through Jordan and Iran,[177] while also encouraging China to increase its arms supplies to Pakistan.

When Pakistan's defeat in the eastern sector seemed certain, Nixon sent theUSS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal, a move deemed by the Indians as a nuclear threat. The Enterprise arrived on station on 11 December 1971. On 6 and 13 December, the Soviet Navy dispatched two groups of ships, armed with nuclear missiles, from Vladivostok; they trailed USTask Force 74 into the Indian Ocean from 18 December 1971 until 7 January 1972. The Soviets also sent nuclear submarines to ward off the threat posed by USS Enterprise in the Indian Ocean.[178]

Though American efforts had no effect in turning the tide of the war, the incident involving USS Enterprise is viewed as the trigger for India's subsequent interest in developing nuclear weapons.[179] American policy towards the end of the war was dictated primarily by a need to restrict the escalation of war on the western sector to prevent the 'dismemberment' of West Pakistan.[180] Years after the war, many American writers criticised the White House policies during the war as being badly flawed and ill-serving the interests of the United States.[181] India carried out nuclear tests a few years later resulting in sanctions being imposed by United States, further drifting the two countries apart. In recent years, Kissinger came under fire for comments made during the Indo-Pakistan War in which he described Indians as "bastards."[182] Kissinger has since expressed his regret over the comments.[183]

After the Cold War[edit]
Since the end of the Cold War, India-USA relations have improved dramatically. This has largely been fostered by the fact that the United States and India are both democracies and have a large and growing trade relationship. During the Gulf War, the economy of India went through an extremely difficult phase. The Government of India adopted liberalised economic systems. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, India improved diplomatic relations with the members of the NATOparticularly Canada, France and Germany. In 1992, India established formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Pokhran tests[edit]
In 1998, India tested nuclear weapons which resulted in several U.S., Japanese and European sanctions on India. India's then defence minister, George Fernandes, said that India's nuclear programme was necessary as it provided a deterrence to some potential nuclear threat. Most of the sanctions imposed on India were removed by 2001. India has categorically stated that it will never use weapons first but will defend if attacked.

The economic sanctions imposed by the United States in response to India's nuclear tests in May 1998 appeared, at least initially, to seriously damage Indo-American relations. President Bill Clinton imposed wide-ranging sanctions pursuant to the1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act. U.S. sanctions on Indian entities involved in the nuclear industry and opposition to international financial institution loans for non-humanitarian assistance projects in India. The United States encouraged India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) immediately and without condition. The United States also called for restraint in missile and nuclear testing and deployment by both India and Pakistan. The non-proliferation dialogue initiated after the 1998 nuclear tests has bridged many of the gaps in understanding between the countries.

Further information: Pokhran-II
Post–11 September[edit]
India's contribution to the War on Terror has helped India's diplomatic relations with several countries. Over the past few years, India has held numerous joint military exercises with United States and European nations that have resulted in a strengthened U.S.-India and EU-India bilateral relationship. India's bilateral trade with Europe and US has more than doubled in the last five years.

However, India has not signed the CTBT, or the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, claiming the discriminatory nature of the treaty that allows the five declared nuclear countries of the world to keep their nuclear arsenal and develop it using computer simulation testing. Prior to its nuclear testing, India had pressed for a comprehensive destruction of nuclear weapons by all countries of the world in a time-bound frame. This was not favoured by the United States and by certain other countries. Presently, India has declared its policy of "no-first use of nuclear weapons" and the maintenance of a "credible nuclear deterrence". The USA, under President George W. Bush has also lifted most of its sanctions on India and has resumed military co-operation. Relations with USA have considerably improved in the recent years, with the two countries taking part in joint naval exercises off the coast of India and joint air exercises both in India as well as in the United States.[184][185][186]

India has been pushing for reforms in the United Nations and in the World Trade Organisation with mixed results. India's candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council is currently backed by several countries including United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, African Union nations, United States and China. In 2005, the United States signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with India even though the latter is not a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United States agreed that India's strong nuclear non-proliferation record made it an exception and persuaded other Nuclear Suppliers Group members to sign similar deals with India.

On 2 March 2006 India and the United States signed the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Pact on co-operation in civilian nuclear field. This was signed during the four days state visit of USA President George Bush in India. On its part, India would separate its civilian and military nuclear programmes, and the civilian programmes would be brought under the safeguards ofInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The United States would sell India the reactor technologies and the nuclear fuel for setting up and upgrading its civilian nuclear programme. The U.S. Congress needs to ratify this pact since U.S. federal law prohibits the trading of nuclear technologies and materials outside the framework of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Indo-USA strategic partnership[edit]

Prime Minister Manmohan Singhwith President Barack Obama at theWhite House.
Indo-USA relations got strategic content in the early 1960s. The rise of the People's Republic of China worried the policymakers in Washington. Chinese assertion in Tibet, its role in the Korean War and other such acts concerned Washington. As the relations between India and China were heated during the late fifties, the Americans found a golden opportunity to take advantage of this situation to promote India as a counterweight to China.[187] But any unidimensional alliance is bound to be short-lived and this alliance was no exception to this general rule. As China ceased to be a headache for the American policymakers by the late sixties, this unidimensional alliance disappeared into thin air.

The end of the Cold War necessitated as well as facilitated the infusion of strategic content to Indo-USA relations–this time multidimensional. In the post Cold War era, the strategic objectives of India and the United States converges on a number of issues and not just one–as well as the case earlier. These issues include, inter alia, containment of terrorism, promotion of democracy, counter proliferation, freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean, Asian balance of power, etc.[30]

One of the very interesting features of Indo-USA relations of recent times is the changes on the terms of engagement between the two countries on the issue of nuclear proliferation. While earlier, in the USA strategic thinking on nuclear proliferation, India figured mainly because of American concern about latter's nuclear and missile programmes, in the twenty-first century, however, American strategic thinking on the issue of nuclear proliferation has undergone major reorientation. Now, the Americans are increasingly realising the futility of insisting on a rollback of India's nuclear programme. They, rather, want to leverage India's growing power and influence in favour of their broader nonproliferation and counter proliferation objectives.[188]

Embassy of India in Washington, D.C.
As promotion of democracy around the world is one of the most important foreign policy objective of the United States, India—as the largest democracy of the world—can hardly be overlooked by the United States. This is the reason, cooperation in promotion of democracy in the world has become one of the most important facets of Indo-USA relations in recent times. India is a founding member of the "Community of Democracies"—a prominent endeavour of the United States on promotion of democracy. However, India rejected the suggestion of the USA about setting up a Centre for Asian Democracy.[189]

Agriculture is another important area of cooperation between India and the USA in present times. Considering the fact that both the nations at present have a vast pool of human resources adept at knowledge economy, it is only natural that the best course such partnership can aim at is harnessing these human resources by concentrating on development and dissemination of agricultural knowledge through research, education and training etc. An initiative to forge such a partnership is the "India-USA Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture" (KIA).[190]

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the guest of honor at the first state dinner, which took place on 24 November 2009, of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama later visited India from 6–9 November 2010, signing numerous trade and defence agreements with India. He addressed the joint session of the Indian parliament in New Delhi, becoming only the second U.S. President to do so, and announced that the United States would lend its support to India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, signifying the growing strategic dimension of the relationship between the world's two largest democracies.[191]

Europe[edit]
European Union[edit]

G20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and theWorld Economy in Washington, D.C.
Main article: India–European Union relations
India was one of the first countries to develop relations with the Union, signing bilateral agreements in 1973, when the United Kingdom joined. The most recent cooperation agreement was signed in 1994 and an action plan was signed in 2005. As of April 2007 the Commission is pursuing a free trade agreement with India.[192]

The Union is India's largest trading partner, accounting for 20% of Indian trade. However, India accounts for only 1.8% of the EU's trade and attracts only 0.3% of European Foreign Direct Investment, although still provides India's largest source. During 2005 EU-India trade grew by 20.3%.[193]

There was controversy in 2006 when the Indian Mittal Steel Company sought to take-over the Luxembourg based steel company, Arcelor. The approach met with opposition from France and Luxembourg but was passed by the Commission who stated that were judging it on competition grounds only.[194]

The European Union (EU) and India agreed on 29 September 2008 at the EU-India summit in Marseille, France's largest commercial port, to expand their cooperation in the fields of nuclear energy and environmental protection and deepen their strategic partnership. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the EU's rotating president, said at a joint press conference at the summit that "EU welcomes India, as a large country, to engage in developing nuclear energy, adding that this clean energy will be helpful for the world to deal with the global climate change". Sarkozy also said the EU and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan pledged to accelerate talks on a free trade deal and expected to finish the deal by 2009. The Indian prime minister was also cautiously optimistic about cooperation on nuclear energy. "Tomorrow we have a bilateral summit with France. This matter will come up and I hope some good results will emerge out of that meeting", Singh said when asked about the issue. Singh said that he was "very satisfied" with the results of the summit. He added that EU and India have "common values" and the two economies are complementary to each other.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, also speaking at Monday's press conference, expounded the joint action plan on adjustments of EU's strategic partnership with India, saying the two sides will strengthen cooperation on world peace and safety, sustainable development, cooperation in science and technology and cultural exchanges.

Reviewing the two sides' efforts in developing the bilateral strategic partnership, the joint action plan reckoned that in politics, dialogue and cooperation have enhanced through regular summits and exchanges of visits and that in economy, mutual investments have increased dramatically in recent years, dialogue in macro economic policies and financial services has established and cooperation in energy, science and technology and environment has been launched. Under the joint action plan, EU and Indian would enhance consultation and dialogue on human rights within the UN framework, strengthen cooperation in world peacekeeping mission, fight against terror and non-proliferation of arms, promote cooperation and exchange in developing civil nuclear energy and strike a free trade deal as soon as possible. France, which relies heavily on nuclear power and is a major exporter of nuclear technology, is expected to sign a deal that would allow it to provide nuclear fuel to India.

Trade between India and the 27-nation EU has more than doubled from 25.6 billion euros ($36.7 billion) in 2000 to 55.6 billion euros last year, with further expansion to be seen. "We have agreed to achieve an annual bilateral trade turnover of 100 billion euros within the next five years", Singh told reporters. A joint statement issued at the end of the summit said the EU and India would work to reach an agreement on climate change by the end of 2009.

Denmark[edit]

Main article: Denmark–India relations
Denmark has an embassy in New Delhi, and India has an embassy in Copenhagen.[195][196]

Tranquebar, a town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was a Danish colony in India from 1620 to 1845. It is spelledTrankebar or Tranquebar in Danish, which comes from the native Tamil, Tarangambadi, meaning "place of the singing waves". It was sold, along with the other Danish settlements in mainland India, most notably Serampore (now in West Bengal), to Great Britain in 1845. The Nicobar Islands were also colonised by Denmark, until sold to the British in 1868, who made them part of their colony of British India.

After Independence in 1947, Indian prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's visit to Denmark in 1957 laid the foundation for a friendly relationship between India and Denmark that has endured ever since. The bilateral relations between India and Denmark are cordial and friendly, based on synergies in political, economic, academic and research fields. There have been periodic high level visits between the two countries.[197]

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark, accompanied by a large business delegation, paid a State visitto India from 4 to 8 February 2008. He visited Infosys, Biocon and IIM Bangalore in Bangalore and Agra. He launched an 'India Action Plan', which called for strengthening of the political dialogue, strengthening of cooperation in trade and investments, research in science and technology, energy, climate and environment, culture, education, student exchanges and attracting skilled manpower and IT experts to Denmark for short periods. The two countries signed an Agreement for establishment of a Bilateral Joint Commission for Coopration.

In July 2012, Govt of India decided to scale down its diplomatic ties with Denmark after that country's refusal to appeal in their Supreme Court against a decision of its lower court rejecting the extradition of Purulia arms drop case prime accused Kim Davy a.k.a. Niels Holck. Agitated over Denmark's refusal to act on India's repeated requests to appeal in their apex court to facilitate Davy's extradition to India, government issued a circular directing all senior officials not to meet or entertain any Danish diplomat posted in India.[198]

Vatican City & the Holy See[edit]

Main article: Holy See–India relations
Formal bilateral relations between India and the Vatican have existed since 12 June 1948. An Apostolic Delegation existed in India from 1881. The Holy See has a nunciature in New Delhi whilst India has accredited its embassy in Bern, Switzerland to the Holy See as well. India's Ambassador in Bern has traditionally been accredited to the Holy See. The present Apostolic Nuncio to India is Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio while India's ambassador to the Holy See is Chitra Narayanan.

The connexions between the Catholic church and India can be traced back to the apostle St. Thomas, who, according to tradition, came to India in 52 CE in the 9th century, the patriarch of the Nestorians in Persia sent bishops to India. There is a record of an Indian bishop visiting Rome in the early part of the 12th century.

The diplomatic mission was established as the Apostolic Delegation to the East Indies in 1881, and included Ceylon, and was extended to Malaca in 1889, and then to Burma in 1920, and eventually included Goa in 1923. It was raised to an Internunciature by Pope Pius XII in 12 June 1948 and to a full Apostolic Nunciature by Pope Paul VI on 22 August 1967.

There have been three Papal visits to India. The first Pope to visit India was Pope Paul VI, who visited Mumbai in 1964 to attend the International Eucharistic Congress. Pope John Paul II visited India in February 1986 and November 1999. Several Indian dignitaries have, from time to time, called on the Pope in the Vatican. These include Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981 and Prime Minister I.K. Gujral in September 1987. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, called on the Pope in June 2000 during his official visit to Italy. Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat represented the country at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

United Kingdom[edit]
Main article: India–United Kingdom relations

India has a high commission in London and two consulates-general in Birmingham and Edinburgh.[199] The United Kingdom has a high commission in New Delhi and five deputy high commissions in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad andKolkata.[200] Since 1947, India's relations with the United Kingdom have been through bilateral, as well as through theCommonwealth of Nations framework. Although the Sterling Area no longer exists and the Commonwealth is much more an informal forum, India and the UK still have many enduring links. This is in part due to the significant number of people ofIndian origin living in the UK. The large South Asian population in the UK results in steady travel and communication between the two countries. The British Raj allowed for both cultures to imbibe tremendously from the other. The English language and cricket are perhaps the two most evident British exports, whilst in the UK food from the Indian subcontinent are very popular.[201] The United Kingdom's favourite food is often reported to be Indian cuisine, although no official study reports this.[201]

Economically the relationship between Britain and India is also strong. India is the second largest investor in Britain after the US.[202][203] Britain is also one of the largest investors in India.[204]

In 2008 Britain gave India a £825 million aid package to help India develop its health and education systems.[205][206]

France[edit]
Main article: France–India relations

India has selected 126 Dassault Rafale fighters for the Indian Air Force
France and India established diplomatic relationships soon after India'sindependence from the United Kingdom in 1947. India's strong diplomatic ties with France facilitated the peaceful handover of Pondicherry to India on 1 November 1954 without any opposition from France.

France, Russia and Israel were the only countries that did not condemn India's decision to go nuclear in 1998.[207] In 2003, France became the largest supplier of nuclear fuel and technology to India and remains a large military and economic trade partner. India's candidacy for permanent membership in the UN Security Council has found very strong support from former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Indian Government's decisions to purchase French Scorpène class submarines worth US$3 billion and 43 Airbus aircraft for Air India worth US$2.5 billion have further cemented the strategic, military and economic co-operation between India and France.

France's decision to ban schoolchildren from wearing of head-dresses and veils had the unintended consequence of affecting Sikh children who have been refused entry in public schools. The Indian Government, citing historic traditions of the Sikh community, has requested French authorities to review the situation so as to not to exclude Sikh children from education.

Nicolas Sarkozy visited India in January 2008 and was the Chief Guest of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. France was the first country to sign a nuclear energy co-operation agreement with India; this was done during Prime Minister Singh's visit, following the waiver by the Nuclear Suppliers Group. During the Bastille Day celebrations on 14 July 2009, a detachment of 400 Indian troops marched alongside the French troops and the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the guest of honour.[208]

Italy[edit]
 Template:India/inia

Relations between India and Italy have historically been strong and cordial. Italy and India are also close economic partners and is home to a large population of Indian immigrants. Sonia Gandhi, the chief of India's leading political party, the Indian National Congress, was born in Italy and acquired Indian citizenship through marriage to former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi.

There have, however, been occasional diplomatic flare-ups and there are ongoing issues between the two countries. The difficulty in obtaining a visas of any kind (tourist, business, employment and others) which when issued are only for very short term and after a lot of hurdles for both Indian and Italian nationals has reduced noticeably the possibility of tourism and business development between the two countries. Indian passengers of Sikh origin, have been singled out for additional screening because of their traditional turban. Italian security staff at airports have insisted that Sikhs remove the head-wear instead of following special security-check provisions which have been implemented in most western countries (especially USA, Canada and UK) with regard to Sikh air-travel passengers.

India maintains an Embassy in Rome, and a Consulate-General in Milan. Italy has an embassy in New Delhi, and Consulate-Generals in Mumbai and Calcutta.

There are around 150,000 people of Indian Origins living in Italy. Around 1,000 Italian citizens reside in India, mostly working on behalf of Italian industrial groups.

Two Italian naval guards currently face trial in India in connection with the killing of two Indian fishermen within the Indian Contiguous Zone off the Kerala coast on 15 February 2012. The Enrica Lexie incident, where Italian Marines of the San Marco Regiment are accused of shooting dead two Indian fishermen, sparked a major diplomatic row between India and Italy. In March 2013, the dispute evolved into a stand-off when Italy reneged on a sovereign undertaking given to the Indian Supreme Court regarding a conditional release accorded to the two Italian marines. Indian Supreme Court retaliated by barring the Italian Ambassador from leaving India. A major diplomatic crisis was averted when Italy backed down and complied with its undertaking to the Indian Supreme Court by returning the two Italian marines to India.

Traditionally good India-Italy relations have been severely affected in the wake of the Enrica Lexie incident and theChoppergate bribery scandal regarding the sale of AgustaWestland AW101 VVIP helicopters by Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica.

See also Embassy of India in Rome, Indo Italian and 2012 Italian shooting in the Laccadive Sea
Germany[edit]
Main article: Germany–India relations

Arrival of the first Indian student to Dresden, East Germany, in 1951
During the Cold War India maintained diplomatic relations with West Germany and East Germany. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the reunification of Germany, relations have further improved. The German ambassador to India, Bernd Mutzelburg, once said that India and Germany, are not just 'natural partners', but important countries in a globalised world. Germany is India's largest trade partner in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India recently, as did the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit Germany. Both countries have been working towards gaining permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. As both countries are strong liberal democracies, they have similar objectives. UN reforms, fighting terrorism and climate change, and promotion of science, education, technology, and human rights, are some areas of shared interests, and collaboration between these two countries. Culturally too, Indian and German writers and philosophers, have influenced each other.[209] Recently, Germany has invested in developing education and skills amongst rural Indians. Also of note, during World War II an Indian division known as the Tiger Legion was attached to the GermanWehrmacht.

Greece[edit]
Main article: Greece–India relations

The first contact between both civilisations dates back from Alexander the Great's invasion of India and eventual retreat. Alexander's seemingly un-stoppable eastward expansion was halted at the Kingdoms of North-Western of India. 3000 BC and earlier, the Mahabharata talks of Indian warrior Kings' conquest of Greece and the cultural exchange resulting therefrom.[citation needed]

In modern time, diplomatic relations between Greece and India were established in May 1950. The new Greek Embassy building in New Delhi was inaugurated on 6 February 2001.[citation needed]

Economically, India is one of Greece's largest debt creditors with Greece owing the Reserve Bank of India and The State Bank of India over €40 billion.[citation needed]

Norway[edit]

In 2012, Trond Giske met with Minister of Finance Pranab Mukherjee, to save[210] Telenor's investments to put forth Norway's "strong wish" that there must not be a waiting period between the confiscation of telecom licences and the re-sale of those.[211] The leader of Telenor attended the meeting.

Spain[edit]

Diplomatic ties with Spain started in 1956.[212] The first Spanish embassy was established in Delhi in 1958. India and Spain have had cordial relationship with each other especially after the establishment of democracy in Spain in 1978. Spain has been a main tourist spot for Indians over the years. Many presidents including Prathibha Patil visited Spain. The royal family of Spain have always liked the humble nature of the Indian government and they have thus paid several visits to India. There was no direct flight from India to Spain but it all changed in 1986 when Iberain travels started to fly directly from Mumbai to Madrid. However, it was stopped in 22 months. In 2006 this issue of direct flight was reconsidered so as to improve the ties between India and Spain. "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" was shot completely in Spain in 2011. The tourism ministry of Spain are using this movie to promote tourism to Spain in India.

Turkey[edit]
Main article: India–Turkey relations

Due to controversial issues such as Turkey's close relationship with Pakistan, relations between the two countries have often been blistered at certain times, but better at others. India and Turkey's relationship alters from unsureness to collaboration when the two nations work together to combat terrorism in Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. India and Turkey are also connected by history, seeing as they have known each other since the days of the Ottoman Empire, and seeing as India was one of the countries to send aid to Turkey following its war of independence. The Indian real estate firm GMR, has invested in and is working towards the modernisation of Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.

Austria[edit]

Main article: Austria–India relations
Austria–India relations refers to the bilateral ties between Austria and India. Indo-Austrian relations were established in May 1949 by the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the Chancellor of Austria Leopold Figl.[213] Historically, Indo-Austrian ties have been particularly strong and India intervened in June 1953 in Austria's favour whilst negotiations were going on with Soviet Union about the Austrian State Treaty.[214] There is a fully functioning Indian embassy in Vienna, Austria's capital, which is concurrently accredited to the United Nations offices in the city.[215] Austria is represented in India by its embassy and Trade commission in New Delhi, India's capital, as well as Honorary Consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Goa.[216]

Other European countries[edit]
CountryFormal relations began Notes
 Armenia1992-08-31See Armenia–India relations
The first contacts between both civilisations date back from 2,500 years ago, during the 5th century BC. In modern times, India recognised Armenia on 26 December 1991.

India has an embassy in Yerevan.
Since 1999, Armenia has an embassy in New Delhi and 2 honorary consulatesMumbai, and Chennai.
Armenia recognizes Kashmir to be part of India and not of Pakistan.
Armenia supports India's bid for permanent seat in the UNSC.[217]
 BelarusSee Foreign relations of Belarus
 Bulgaria1954See Bulgaria–India relations
Bulgaria has an embassy in New Delhi and an honorary consulate in Kolkata.[218]India has an embassy in Sofia.[219]
 CroatiaSee Foreign relations of Croatia
 CyprusSee Foreign relations of Cyprus
 Estonia1991-09-09See Estonia–India relations
India's first recognition of Estonia came on 22 September 1921 when the former had just acquired membership in the League of Nations. India re-recognised Estonia on 9 September 1991 and diplomatic relations were established on 2 December of the same year in Helsinki. Neither country has a resident ambassador. Estonia is represented in India by two honorary consulates (in Mumbai and New Delhi). India is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Helsinki (Finland) and through an honorary consulate inTallinn.

 FinlandSee Foreign relations of Finland
 GeorgiaSee Foreign relations of Georgia
 IcelandSee Iceland–India relations
Iceland and India established diplomatic relations in 1972. The Embassy of Iceland in London was accredited to India and the Embassy of India in Oslo, Norway, was accredited to Iceland. However, it was only after 2003 that the two countries began close diplomatic and economic relationships.[220] In 2003, President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímssonvisited India on diplomatic mission. This was the first visit by an Icelandic President to India. During the visit, Iceland pledged support to New Delhi's candidature for a permanent seat in the United Nation Security Council thus becoming the first Nordiccountry to do so. This was followed by an official visit of President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam to Iceland in May 2005.[221] Following this a new embassy of Iceland was opened in New Delhi on 26 February 2006.[220] Soon, an Indian Navy team visited Iceland on friendly mission.[222] Gunnar Pálsson is the ambassador of Iceland to India. The Embassy's area of accreditation, apart from India includes Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius and Nepal.[223] India appointed S. Swaminathan as the first resident ambassador to Iceland in March 2008.[224]

 IrelandSee India–Ireland relations
Indo-Irish relations picked up steam during the freedom struggles of the respective countries against a common imperial empire in the United Kingdom. Political relations between the two states have largely been based on socio-cultural ties, although political and economic ties have also helped build relations. Indo-Irish relations were greatly strengthened by such luminaries as Pandit Nehru, Éamon de Valera, Rabindranath Tagore, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, and, above all, Annie Besant. Politically, relations have not been cold or warm. Mutual benefit has led to economic ties that are fruitful for both states.[citation needed] Visits by government leaders have kept relations cordial at regular intervals.

 MaltaSee India–Malta relations
Malta opened a High Commission in New Delhi in 2007. Malta also has an honorary consulate in Mumbai. India is represented in Malta through its embassy in Tripoli, Libya and an honorary consulate in Valletta.

 PolandSee India–Poland relations
Historically, relations have generally been close and friendly, characterised by understanding and cooperation on international front.[225]

 Romania
India has an embassy in Bucharest.[226]
Romania has an embassy in New Delhi and an honorary consulate in Kolkata.[227]
See also Hinduism in Romania
 RussiaSee India–Russia relations
During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union enjoyed a strong strategic, military, economic and diplomatic relationship. After the collapse of the USSR, India improved its relations with the West but it continued its close relations with Russia. India is the second-largest market for the Russian arms industry. In 2004, more than 70% of the Indian Military's hardware came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of arms.[228] India has an embassy in Moscow and two Consulates-General (in Saint Petersburg andVladivostok). Russia has an embassy in New Delhi and three Consulates-General (inChennai, Kolkata, Mumbai). Since 2000 and the visit of Vladimir Putin in India, there has been an Indo-Russian Strategic Partnership.

 SerbiaSee India–Serbia relations
India has an embassy in Belgrade.[229]
Serbia has an embassy in New Delhi and an honorary consulate in Chennai.[230]
See also Hinduism in Serbia
Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with India
 Slovenia
India has an embassy in Ljubljana.[231]
Slovenia has an embassy in New Delhi.
See also Hinduism in Slovenia
 Spain1956
Spain has an embassy in New Delhi and a consulate in Mumbai.
India has an embassy in Madrid and consulates in Barcelona and Tenerife
 Switzerland1948
Switzerland has an embassy in New Delhi and a consulate in Bangalore andMumbai.[232]
India has an embassy in Bern and consulates in Geneva and Zurich.[233]
India is one of Switzerland's most important partners in Asia. Bilateral and political contacts are constantly developing, and trade and scientific cooperation between the two countries are flourishing.[234] Switzerland was the first country in the World to sign a Friendship treaty with India in 1947.[235]

 UkraineSee India–Ukraine relations
Diplomatic relations between India and Ukraine were established in January 1992. The Indian Embassy in Kiev was opened in May 1992 and Ukraine opened its mission in New Delhi in February 1993. The Consulate General of India in Odessa functioned from 1962 till its closure in March 1999.

West Asia[edit]
Arab states of the Persian Gulf[edit]

India and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf enjoy strong cultural and economic ties. This is reflected in the fact that more than 50% of the oil consumed by India comes from the Persian Gulf countries[236] and Indian nationals form the largest expatriate community in the Arabian peninsula.[237] The annual remittance by Indian expatriates in the region amounted to US$20 billion in 2007.[238][239] India is one of the largest trading partners of the CCASG with non-oil trade between India and Dubai alone amounting to US$19 billion in 2007.[240] The Persian Gulf countries have also played an important role in addressing India's energy security concerns, with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait regularly increasing their oil supply to India to meet the country's rising energy demand. In 2005, Kuwait increased its oil exports to India by 10% increasing the net oil trade between the two to US$4.5 billion.[241] In 2008, Qatar decided to invest US$5 billion in India's energy sector.[242]

India has maritime security arrangement in place with Oman and Qatar.[243] In 2008, a landmark defence pact was signed, under which India committed its military assets to protect "Qatar from external threats".[244] There has been progress in a proposed deep-sea gas pipeline from Qatar, via Oman, to India.[245]

Bahrain[edit]
Main article: Bahrain–India relations

India is a close ally of Bahrain, the Kingdom along with its GCC partners are (according to Indian officials) among the most prominent backers of India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council,[246] and Bahraini officials have urged India to play a greater role in international affairs. For instance, over concerns about Iran's nuclear programme Bahrain's Crown Prince appealed to India to play an active role in resolving the crisis.[247]

Ties between India and Bahrain go back generations, with many of Bahrain's most prominent figures having close connexions: poet and constitutionalist Ebrahim Al-Arrayedh grew up in Bombay, while 17th century Bahraini theologians Sheikh Salih Al-Karzakani and Sheikh Ja'far bin Kamal al-Din were influential figures in the Kingdom of Golkonda[248] and the development of Shia thought in the sub-continent.

Bahraini politicians have sought to enhance these long standing ties, with Parliamentary Speaker Khalifa Al Dhahrani in 2007 leading a delegation of parliamentarians and business leaders to meet Indian President Pratibha Patil, opposition leader L K Advani, and take part in training and media interviews.[249] Politically, it is easier for Bahrain's politicians to seek training and advice from India than it is from the United States or other western alternative.

Adding further strength to the ties, Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa visited India during which MOU's and bilateral deals worth $450 million were approved.[250] India expressed its support for Bahrain's bid for a non-permanent seat in the Security council in 2026-27.[251]

Egypt[edit]
Main article: Egypt–India relations

Modern Egypt-India relations go back to the contacts between Saad Zaghloul and Mohandas Gandhi on the common goals of their respective movements of independence.[252] In 1955, Egypt under Gamal Abdul Nasser and India under Jawaharlal Nehru became the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. During the 1956 War, Nehru stood supporting Egypt to the point of threatening to withdraw his country from the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1967, following the Arab-Israeli war, India supported Egypt and the Arabs. In 1977, New Delhi described the visit of President Anwar al-Sadat to Jerusalem as a "brave" move and considered the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel a primary step on the path of a just settlement of the Middle East problem. Major Egyptian exports to India include raw cotton, raw and manufactured fertilisers, oil and oil products, organic and non-organic chemicals, leather and iron products. Major imports into Egypt from India are cotton yarn, sesame, coffee, herbs, tobacco, lentils, pharmaceutical products and transport equipment. The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum is also currently negotiating the establishment of a natural gas-operated fertiliser plant with another Indian company. In 2004 the Gas Authority of India Limited, bought 15% of Egypt Nat Gas distribution and marketing company. In 2008 Egyptian investment in India was worth some 750 million dollars, according to the Egyptian ambassador.[253] AfterArab Spring of 2011, with ousting of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has asked for help of India in conducting nationwide elections

Iran[edit]
Main article: India–Iran relations

Seen here is Rabindranath Tagore as a guest of Iran's parliament in the 1930s.
Independent India and Iran established diplomatic links on 15 March 1950.[254]After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran withdrew from CENTO and dissociated itself from U.S.-friendly countries, including Pakistan, which automatically meant improved relationship with the Republic of India.

Currently, the two countries have friendly relations in many areas. There are significant trade ties, particularly in crude oil imports into India and diesel exports to Iran. Iran frequently objected to Pakistan's attempts to draft anti-India resolutions at international organisations such as the OIC. India welcomed Iran's inclusion as an observer state in the SAARC regional organisation.Lucknow continues to be a major centre of Shiite culture and Persian study in the subcontinent.

In the 1990s, India and Iran both supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against the Taliban regime. They continue to collaborate in supporting the broad-based anti-Taliban government led by Hamid Karzai and backed by the United States.

However, one complex issue in Indo-Iran relations is the issue of Iran's nuclear programme. In this intricate issue, India tries to make a delicate balance. According to Rejaul Laskar, an Indian expert on international relations, "India's position on Iran's nuclear programme has been consistent, principled and balanced, and makes an endeavour to reconcile Iran's quest for energy security with the international community's concerns on proliferation. So, while India acknowledges and supports Iran's ambitions to achieve energy security and in particular, its quest for peaceful use of nuclear energy, it is also India's principled position that Iran must meet all its obligations under the international law, particularly its obligations under the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other such treaties to which it is a signatory"[255]

Following an attack on an Israeli diplomat in India in February 2012, the Delhi Police contended that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had some involvement in the attack. This was subsequently confirmed in July 2012, after a report by the Delhi Police found evidence that members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had been involved in the 13 February bomb attack in the capital.[256]

Iraq[edit]
Main article: India–Iraq relations

Iraq was one of the few countries in the Middle East with which India established diplomatic relations at the embassy level immediately after its independence in 1947.[257] Both nations signed the "Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship" in 1952 and an agreement of cooperation on cultural affairs in 1954.[257] India was amongst the first to recognise the Baath Party-led government, and Iraq remained neutral during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. However, Iraq sided alongside other Persian Gulf states in supporting Pakistan against India during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which saw the creation of Bangladesh.[257] The eight-year long Iran–Iraq War caused a steep decline in trade and commerce between the two nations.[257]

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, India remained neutral but permitted refueling for US aircraft.[257] It opposed UN sanctions on Iraq, but the period of war and Iraq's isolation further diminished India's commercial and diplomatic ties.[257]From 1999 onwards, Iraq and India began to work towards a stronger relationship. Iraq had supported India's right to conduct nuclear tests following its tests of five nuclear weapons on 11 and 13 May 1998.[257] In 2000, the then-Vice President of Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan visited India, and on 6 August 2002 President Saddam Hussein conveyed Iraq's "unwavering support" to India over the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan.[257][258] India and Iraq established joint ministerial committees and trade delegations to promote extensive bilateral cooperation.[142][259] Although initially disrupted during the2003 invasion of Iraq, diplomatic and commercial ties between India and the new democratic government of Iraq have since been normalised.[259]

Israel[edit]
Main article: India–Israel relations

Beni-Israel Family at Bombay.
The creation of Israel at the end of World War II was a complex issue. India, along with Iran and Yugoslavia had recommended a single state with Arab and Jewish majority provinces with an aim to prevent partition of historic Palestine and prevent any conflict that might follow based on its own experience during partition.[260]However, the final UN resolution decided to partition historic Palestine into Arab and Jewish states based on religious and ethnic majority which India opposed in the final vote as it did not agree with concept of partition on the basis of religion.[261]

However, due to the security threat from a U.S.-backed Pakistan and its nuclear programme in the 1980s, Israel and India started a clandestine relationship that involved cooperation between their respective intelligence agencies.[262] Israel shared India's concerns about the growing danger posed by Pakistan and nuclear proliferation to Iran and other Arab states.[263] After the end of the Cold War, formal relations with Israel started improving significantly.[59][264]

Since the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, India has improved its relation with the Jewish State. India is regarded as Israel's strongest ally in Asia, and Israel is India's second largest arms supplier. However, after India achieved its independence in 1947, the country has moved to support Palestinian self-determination; India recognised Palestine's statehood following Palestine's declaration on 18 November 1988[265] and Indo-Palestinian relations were first established in 1974.[266] This hasn't severely impacted India's relations with Israel, though.

India has entertained Israeli Prime Minister in a visit in 2003,[267] and Israel has entertained Indian dignitaries such as Finance Minister Jaswant Singh in diplomatic visits. India and Israel collaborate in scientific and technological endeavors. Israel's Minister for Science and Technology has expressed interest in collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) towards utilising satellites for better management of land and other resources. Israel has also expressed interest in participating in ISRO's Chandrayaan Mission involving an unmanned mission to the moon.[268] On 21 January 2008 India successfully launched an Israeli spy satellite into orbit from Sriharikota space station in southern India.[269]

Israel and India share intelligence on terrorist groups. They have developed close defence and security ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1992. Israel is India's second-biggest arms supplier, after Russia. India has bought more than $5 billion worth of Israeli equipment since 2002. In addition, Israel is training Indian military units and discussing an arrangement to give Indian commandos instruction in counter-terrorist tactics and urban warfare.[270] In December 2008, Israel and India signed a memorandum to set up an Indo-Israel Legal Colloquium to facilitate discussions and exchange programmes between judges and jurists of the two countries.[271]

Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, India came out, surprisingly, saying Israeli use of force was "disproportionate and excessive."[272]

Lebanon[edit]

India and Lebanon enjoy cordial and friendly relations based on many complementarities such as political system based on parliamentary democracy, non-alignment, human rights, commitment to a just world order, regional and global peace, liberal market economy and a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. India has a peacekeeping force as part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). One infantry battalion is deployed in Lebanon and about 900 personnel are stationed in the Eastern part of South Lebanon.[273] The force also provided non-patrol aid to citizens.[274] India and Lebanon have very good relations since the 1950s.

Oman[edit]
Main article: India-Oman relations

India–Oman relations are foreign relations between India and the Sultanate of Oman. India has an embassy in Muscat, Oman. The Indian consulate was opened in Muscat in February 1955 and five years later it was upgraded to a Consulate General and later developed into a full fledged Embassy in 1971. The first Ambassador of India arrived in Muscat in 1973. Oman established its Embassy in New Delhi in 1972 and a Consulate General in Mumbai in 1976.

Palestine[edit]

Main article: India-Palestine relations
After India achieved its independence in 1947, the country has moved to support Palestinian self-determination following thepartition of British India. In the light of a religious partition between India and Pakistan, the impetus to boost ties with Muslimstates around the world was a further tie to India's support for the Palestinian cause. Though it started to waver in the late 1980s and 1990s as the recognition of Israel led to diplomatic exchanges, the ultimate support for the Palestinian cause was still an underlying concern. Beyond the recognition for Palestinian self-determination ties have been largely dependent upon socio-cultural bonds, while economic relations were neither cold nor warm.

India recognised Palestine's statehood following its own declaration on 18 November 1988;[265] although relations were first established in 1974.[266]

PNA President Abbas paid a State visit to India in September 2012, during which India pledged $10 million as aid. Indian officials said it was the third such donation, adding that New Delhi was committed to helping other development projects. India also pledged support to Palestine's bid for full and equal membership of the UN.

Saudi Arabia[edit]
Main article: India–Saudi Arabia relations

Bilateral relations between India and the Saudi Arabia have strengthened considerably owing to cooperation in regional affairs and trade. Saudi Arabia is the one of largest suppliers of oil to India, who is one of the top seven trading partners and the 5th biggest investor in Saudi Arabia.[275]

India was one of the first nations to establish ties with the Third Saudi State. During the 1930s, India heavily funded Nejdthrough financial subsidies.[276]

India's strategic relations with Saudi Arabia have been affected by the latter's close ties with Pakistan.[277] Saudi Arabia supported Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir conflict and during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 at the expense of its relations with India.[278] The Soviet Union's close relations with India also served as a source of consternation.[277][278]During the Persian Gulf War (1990–91), India officially maintained neutrality. Saudi Arabia's close military and strategic ties with Pakistan have also been a source of continuing strain.[277][278]

Since the 1990s, both nations have taken steps to improve ties. Saudi Arabia has supported granting observer status to India in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and has expanded its cooperation with India to fight terrorism.[132] In January 2006, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia made a special visit to India, becoming the first Saudi monarch in 51 years to do so.[277] The Saudi king and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agreement forging a strategic energy partnership that was termed the "Delhi Declaration".[150] The pact provides for a "reliable, stable and increased volume of crude oil supplies to India through long-term contracts."[279] Both nations also agreed on joint ventures and the development of oil and natural gas in public and private sectors.[279] An Indo-Saudi joint declaration in the Indian capitalNew Delhi described the king's visit as "heralding a new era in India-Saudi Arabia relations."[132]

Russia and Central Asia[edit]

Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2001.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had major repercussions for Indian foreign policy. Substantial trade with the former Soviet Union plummeted after the Soviet collapse and has yet to recover. Longstanding military supply relationships were similarly disrupted due to questions over financing, although Russia continues to be India's largest supplier of military systems and spare parts.

The relationship with USSR was tested (and proven) during the 1971 war with Pakistan, which led to the subsequent liberation of Bangladesh. Soon after the victory of the Indian Armed Forces, one of the foreign delegates to visit India wasAdmiral S.G. Gorshkov, Chief of the Soviet Navy. During his visit to Mumbai (Bombay) he came on board INS Vikrant. During a conversation with Vice Admiral Swaraj Prakash, Gorshkov asked the Vice Admiral, "Were you worried about a battle against the American carrier?" He answered himself: "Well, you had no reason to be worried, as I had a Soviet nuclear submarine trailing the American task force all the way into the Indian Ocean."[280]

Russian Federation[edit]
Main articles: Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and India–Russia relations

Indian PM Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin. India and Russia enjoy strong strategic and military relations.
India's ties with the Russian Federation are time-tested and based on continuity, trust and mutual understanding. There is national consensus in both the countries on the need to preserve and strengthen India-Russia relations and further consolidate the strategic partnership between the two countries. A Declaration on Strategic Partnership was signed between present Russian President Vladimir Putinand former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in October 2000.

Joint Indo-Russian BrahMosnuclear cruise missile, has a top speed of Mach 2.8, making it the one of the fastest supersonic cruise missile.
Russia and India have decided not to renew the 1971 Indo-Soviet Peace and Friendship Treaty and have sought to follow what both describe as a more pragmatic, less ideological relationship. Russian President Yeltsin's visit to India in January 1993 helped cement this new relationship. Ties have grown stronger with President Vladimir Putin's 2004 visit. The pace of high-level visits has since increased, as has discussion of major defence purchases. Russia, is working for the development of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, that will be capable of producing 1000 MW of electricity. Gazprom, is working for the development of oil and natural gas, in the Bay of Bengal. India and Russia, have collaborated extensively, on space technology. Other areas of collaboration include software,ayurveda, etc. India and Russia, have set a determination in increasing trade to $10 billion. Cooperation between clothing manufacturers of the two countries continues to strengthen. India and Russia signed an agreement on joint efforts to increase investment and trade volumes in the textile industry in both countries. In signing the document included representatives of the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs of Textile and Light Industry Council and apparel exports of India (AEPC). A cooperation agreement provides, inter alia, exchange of technology and know-how in textile production. For this purpose, a special Commission on Affairs textile (Textile Communication Committee). Counter-terrorism techniques are also in place between Russia and India. In 2007 President Vladimir Putin was guest of honour at Republic Day celebration on 26 January 2007. 2008, has been declared by both countries as the Russia-India Friendship Year. Bollywood films are quite popular in Russia. The Indian public sector oil company ONGC bought Imperial Energy in 2008. In December 2008, during President Medvedev's visit, to New Delhi, India and Russia, signed a nuclear energy co-operation agreement. In March, 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed an additional 19 pacts with India which included civilian nuclear energy, space and military co-operation and the final sale of Admiral Gorshkov (Aircraft Carrier) along with MiG-29K fighter jets.

During the 2014 Crimean crisis India refused to support American sanctions against Russia and one of India's national security advisers Shivshankar Menon was reported to have said "There are legitimate Russian and other interests involved and we hope they are discussed and resolved."[281]

From 7 August 2014 India and Russia will hold a joint counter-terrorism exercise near Moscow boundary with China and Mongolia. It will involve the use of tanks and armored vehicles.[282]

India and Russia have so far conducted three rounds of INDRA exercises. The first exercise was carried out in 2005 in Rajasthan, followed by Prshkov in Russia. The third exercise was conducted at Chaubattia in Kumaon hills in October 2010.[282][283]

Kazakhstan[edit]
Main article: India–Kazakhstan relations

India is working towards developing strong relations with this resource rich Central Asian country. The Indian oil company,Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, has got oil exploration and petroleum development grants in Kazakhstan. The two countries are collaborating in petrochemicals, information technology, and space technology. Kazakhstan has offered India five blocks for oil and gas exploration. India and Kazakhstan, are to set up joint projects in construction, minerals and metallurgy. India also signed four other pacts, including an extradition treaty, in the presence of President Prathibha Patil and her Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhastan will provide uranium and related products under the MoU between Nuclear Power Corp. of India and KazatomProm. These MoU also opens possibilities of joint exploration of uranium in Kazakhstan, which has the worlds' second largest reserves, and India building atomic power plants in the Central Asian country.

Mongolia[edit]
Main article: India–Mongolia relations

The relations between India and Mongolia are still at a nascent stage and Indo-Mongolian cooperation is limited to diplomatic visits, provision of soft loans and financial aid and the collaborations in the IT sector. India established diplomatic relations in December 1955. India was the first country outside the Soviet block to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia. Since then, there have been treaties of mutual friendship and cooperation between the two countries in 1973, 1994, 2001 and 2004.

Tajikistan[edit]
Main article: India–Tajikistan relations

Diplomatic relations were established India and Tajikistan following Tajikistan's independence from the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, which had been friendly with India. Tajikistan occupies a strategically important position in Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan, the People's Republic of China and separated by a small strip of Afghan territory from Pakistan. India's role in fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and its strategic rivalry with both China and Pakistan have made its ties with Tajikistan important to its strategic and security policies. Despite their common efforts, bilateral trade has been comparatively low, valued at USD 12.09 million in 2005; India's exports to Tajikistan were valued at USD 6.2 million and its imports at USD 5.89 million. India's military presence and activities have been significant, beginning with India's extensive support to the anti-Taliban Afghan Northern Alliance (ANA). India began renovating the Farkhor Air Base and stationed aircraft of the Indian Air Force there. The Farkhor Air Base became fully operational in 2006, and 12 MiG-29 bombers and trainer aircraft are planned to be stationed there.

Uzbekistan[edit]

India has an embassy in Tashkent. Uzbekistan has an embassy in New Delhi. Uzbekistan has had a great impact on Indian culture mostly due to the Mughal Empire which was founded by Babur of Ferghana (in present-day Uzbekistan) who created his empire southward first in Afghanistan and then in India.

Africa[edit]

Indian PM Manmohan Singh with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and South African PresidentThabo Mbeki.
As of year 2011, India's total trade with Africa is over US$46 billion and total investment is over US$11 billion with US$5.7 billion line of credit for executing various projects in Africa.[284]

India has had good relationships with most sub-Saharan African nations for most of its history. In the Prime Minister's visit to Mauritius in 1997, the two countries secured a deal to a new Credit Agreement of INR 105 million (US$3 million) to finance import by Mauritius of capital goods, consultancy services and consumer durable from India. The government of India secured a rice and medicine agreement with the people of Seychelles. India continued to build upon its historically close relations with Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Visits from political ministers from Ethiopia provided opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education and technical training, water resources management and development of small industries. This has allowed India to gain benefits from nations that are generally forgotten by other Western Nations. The South African President, Thabo Mbeki has called for a strategic relationship between India and South Africa to avoid imposition by Western Nations. India continued to build upon its close and friendly relations with Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Minister of Foreign Affairs arranged for the sending of Special Envoys to each of these countries during 1996–97 as a reaffirmation of India's assurance to strengthening cooperation with these countries in a spirit of South-South partnership. These relations have created a position of strength with African nations that other nations may not possess.[285]

Ethiopia[edit]
Main article: India-Ethiopia relations

India and Ethiopia have warm bilateral ties based on mutual cooperation and support. India has been a partner in Ethiopia's developmental efforts, training Ethiopian personnel under its ITEC programmer, providing it with several lines of credit and launching the Pan-African e-Network Project there in 2007. The Second India-Africa Forum Summit was held in Addis Ababain 2011. India is also Ethiopia's second largest source of Foreign Direct Investments.

Ghana[edit]

Main article: Ghana–India relations
Relations between Ghana and India are generally close and cordial mixed with economic and cultural connections. Trade between India and Ghana amounted to US$818 million in 2010-11 and is expected to be worth US$1 billion by 2013.[286]Ghana imports automobiles and buses from India and companies like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have a significant presence in the country.[287][288] Ghanaian exports to India consist of gold, cocoa and timber while Indian exports to Ghana comprise pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, plastics, steel and cement.[289]

The Government of India has extended $228 million in lines of credit to Ghana which has been used for projects in sectors like agro-processing, fish processing, waste management, rural electrification and the expansion of Ghana's railways.[290]India has also offered to set up an India-Africa Institute of Information Technology (IAIIT) and a Food Processing Business Incubation Centre in Ghana under the India-Africa Forum Summit.[289]

India is among the largest foreign investors in Ghana's economy. At the end of 2011, Indian investments in Ghana amounted to $550 million covering some 548 projects.[290] Indian investments are primarily in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors of Ghana while Ghanaian companies manufacture drugs in collaboration with Indian companies. The IT sector in Ghana too has a significant Indian presence in it. India and Ghana also have a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement between them.[291] India's Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers is in the process of setting up a fertiliser plant in Ghana at Nyankrom in the Shama District of the Western Region of Ghana. The project entails an investment of US$1.3 billion and the plant would have an annual production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes, the bulk of which would be exported to India.[292][293] There are also plans to develop a sugar processing plant entailing an investment of US$36 million.[294] Bank of Baroda, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and Tech Mahindra are amongst the major Indian companies in Ghana.[295]

There are about seven to eight thousand Indians and Persons of Indian Origin living in Ghana today with some of them having been there for over 70 years.[289] Ghana is home to a growing indigenous Hindu population that today numbers 3000 families. Hinduism first came to Ghana only in the late 1940s with the Sindhi traders who migrated here following India's Partition. It has been growing in Ghana and neighbouring Togo since the mid-1970s when an African Hindu monastery was established in Accra.[296][297]

Ivory Coast[edit]
Main article: Ivory Coast–India relations

The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Ivory Coast have expanded considerably in recent years as India seeks to develop an extensive commercial and strategic partnership in the West African region. The Indian diplomatic mission in Abidjan was opened in 1979. Ivory Coast opened its resident mission in New Delhi in September 2004.[298] Both nations are currently fostering efforts to increase trade, investments and economic cooperation.[299]

Liberia[edit]
Main article: India–Liberia relations

The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Liberia have expanded on growing bilateral trade and strategic cooperation. India is represented in Liberia through its embassy in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and an active honorary consulate in Monrovia since 1984. Liberia was represented in India through its resident mission in New Delhi which subsequently closed due to budgetary constraints.[300]

Mauritius[edit]
Main article: India–Mauritius relations

The relations between India and Mauritius existed since 1730, diplomatic relations were established in 1948, before Mauritius became independent state.[301] The relationship is very cordial due to cultural affinities and long historical ties that exist between the two nations. More than 68% of the Mauritian population are of Indian origin, most commonly known asIndo-Mauritian. Economic and commercial corporation has been increasing over the years. India has become Mauritius' largest source of imports since 2007 and Mauritius imported US$816 million worth of goods in the April 2010-March 2011 financial year. Mauritius has remained the largest source of FDI for India for more than a decade with FDI equity inflows totalling US$55.2 billion in the period April 2000 to April 2011. India and Mauritius cooperate in combating piracy which has emerged as a major threat in the Indian Ocean region and support India's stand against terrorism.[302]

The relationship between Mauritius and India date back in the early 1730, when artisans were brought from Puducherry andTamil Nadu.[301] Diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius were established in 1948. Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation. From the 1820s, Indian workers started coming into Mauritius to work on sugar plantations. From 1834 when slavery was abolished by the British Parliament, large numbers of Indian workers began to be brought into Mauritius as indentured labourers. On 2 November 1834 the ship named 'Atlas' docked in Mauritius carrying the first batch of Indian indentured labourers.

Morocco[edit]

Morocco has an embassy in New Delhi. It also has an Honorary Consul based in Mumbai. India operates an embassy inRabat. Both nations are part of the Non-Aligned Movement.[303]

In the United Nations, India supported the decolonisation of Morocco and the Moroccan freedom movement. India recognised Morocco on 20 June 1956 and established relations in 1957.[304] The Ministry of External Affairs of theGovernment of India states that "India and Morocco have enjoyed cordial and friendly relations and over the years bilateral relations have witnessed significant depth and growth."[305]

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations promotes indian culture in Morocco.[306] Morocco seeks to increase its trade ties with India and is seeking Indian investment in various sectors[307] The bilateral relations between India and Morocco strengthened after the Moroccan Ambassador to India spent nearly a week in Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu & Kashmir. This showed Moroccan solidarity with India in regard to Kashmir.[307]

Namibia[edit]

Relations between India and Namibia are warm and cordial.[308]

India was one of SWAPO's earliest supporters during the Namibian liberation movement. The first SWAPO embassy was established in India in 1986. India's observer mission was converted to a full High Commission on Namibia's independence day of 21 March 1990.[308] India has helped train the Namibian Air Force since its creation in 1995. The two countries work closely in mutual multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations. Namibia supports expansion of the United Nations Security Council to include a permanent seat for India.[308]

In 2008–09, trade between the two countries stood at approximately US$80 million. Namibia's main imports from India were drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, agricultural machinery, automobile and automobile parts, glass and glassware, plastic and linoleum products. India primarily imported nonferrous metals, ores and metal scarps. Indian products are also exported to neighboring South Africa and re-imported to Namibia as South African imports. Namibian diamonds are often exported to European diamond markets before being again imported to India. In 2009, the first direct sale of Namibian diamonds to India took place.[308] In 2008, two Indian companies won a US$105 million contract from NamPower to lay ahigh-voltage direct current bi-polar line from Katima Mulilo to Otjiwarongo.[308] Namibia is a beneficiary of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme for telecommunications professionals from developing countries.[309]

India has a high commissioner in Windhoek[310] and Namibia has a high commissioner in New Delhi. Namibia's high commissioner is also accredited for Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.[311]

Nigeria[edit]
Main article: India–Nigeria relations

India has close relations with this oil rich West African country. Twenty percent of India's crude oil needs are met, by Nigeria. 40,000 barrels per day (6,400 m3/d) of oil, is the amount of oil, that India receives from Nigeria. Trade, between these two countries stands at $875 million in 2005–2006. Indian companies have also invested in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, iron ore, steel, information technology, and communications, amongst other things. Both India and Nigeria, are members of theCommonwealth of Nations, G-77, and the Non Aligned Movement. The Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo was the guest of honour, at the Republic Day parade, in 1999, and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, visited Nigeria in 2007, and addressed the Nigerian Parliament.

Rwanda[edit]
Main article: India-Rwanda relations

Indo-Rwandan relations are the foreign relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Rwanda. India is represented in Rwanda through its Honorary Consulate in Kigali. Rwanda has been operating its High Commission in New Delhi since 1998 and appointed its first resident High Commissioner in 2001.[312]

Seychelles[edit]
 Main Article: India - Seychelles relations

India–Seychelles relations are bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Seychelles. India has a High Commission in Victoria while Seychelles maintains a High Commission in New Delhi.[313]

South Africa[edit]
Main article: India–South Africa relations

A meeting of G5 leaders in Berlin, Germany. From left to right: Manmohan Singh of India, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, Hu Jintao of China and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.
India and South Africa, have always had strong relations even though India revoked diplomatic relations in protest to the apartheid regime in the mid 20th century. The history of British rule connects both lands. There is a large group of South Africans of Indian descent. Mahatma Gandhi, spent many years in South Africa, during which time, he fought for the rights of the ethnic Indians. Nelson Mandela was inspired by Gandhi. After India's independence, India strongly condemned apartheid, and refused diplomatic relations while apartheid was conducted as state policy in South Africa.

The two countries, now have close economic, political, and sports relations. Trade between the two countries grew from $3 million in 1992–1993 to $4 billion in 2005–2006, and aim to reach trade of $12 billion by 2010. One third of India's imports from South Africa is gold bullion. Diamonds, that are mined from South Africa, are polished in India. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize. The two countries are also members of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, with Brazil. India hopes to get large amounts of uranium, from resource rich South Africa, for India's growing civilian nuclear energy sector.

Mozambique[edit]

Main article: India–Mozambique relations
India has a high commissioner in Maputo[314] and Mozambique has a high commissioner in New Delhi.

South Sudan[edit]
Main article: India–South Sudan relations

India recognised South Sudan on 10 July 2011, a day after South Sudan became an independent state. At the moment relations are primarily economic. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri wrote in the Hindustan Times that South Sudan "has other[clarification needed] attractions. As the Indian Foreign Ministry's own literature notes, South Sudan [is] 'reported to has (sic) some of the largest oil reserves in Africa outside Nigeria and Angola.'"[315] An article in the The Telegraph read that South Sudan is "one of the poorest [countries] in the world, [but] is oil rich. Foreign ministry officials said New Delhi has [a] keen interest in increasing its investments in the oil fields in South Sudan, which now owns over two-thirds of the erstwhile united Sudan's oil fields."[316]

In return for the oil resources that can be provided by South Sudan, India said it was willing to assist in developing infrastructure, training officials in health, education and rural development. "We have compiled a definite road map using (sic) which India can help South Sudan."[317]

Sudan[edit]

Indo-Sudanese relations have always been characterised as longstanding, close, and friendly, even since the early development stages of their countries.At the time of Indian independence, Sudan had contributed 70,000 pounds, which was used to build part of the National Defence Academy in Pune. The main building of NDA is called Sudan Block. The two nations established diplomatic relations shortly after India became known as one of the first Asian countries to recognise the newly independent African country. India and Sudan also share geographic and historical similarities, as well as economic interests. Both countries are former British colonies, and remotely border Saudi Arabia by means of a body of water. India and Sudan continue to have cordial relations, despite issues such as India's close relationship with Israel, India's solidarity with Egypt over border issues with Sudan, and Sudan's intimate bonds with Pakistan and Bangladesh. India had also contributed some troops as United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Uganda[edit]

Main article: India-Uganda relations
India and Uganda established diplomatic relations in 1965 and each maintain a High Commission in the other's capital. The Indian High Commission in Kampala has concurrent accreditation to Burundi and Rwanda. Uganda hosts a large Indian community and India–Uganda relations cover a broad range of sectors including political, economic, commercial, cultural and scientific cooperation.[318]

Relations between India and Uganda began with the arrival of over 30,000 Indians in Uganda in the 19th century who were brought there to construct the Mombasa–Kampala railway line. Ugandan independence activists were inspired in their struggle for Ugandan independence by the success of the Indian freedom struggle and were also supported in their struggle by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.[319][320] Indo-Ugandan relations have been good since Uganda's independence except during the regime of Idi Amin. Amin in 1972 expelled over 55,000 people of Indian origin and 5,000 Indians who had largely formed the commercial and economic backbone of the country accusing them of exploiting native Ugandans.[320][321]Since the mid-1980s when President Yoweri Museveni came to power, relations have steadily improved. Today some 20,000 Indians and PIOs live or work in Uganda.[320] Ethnic tensions between Indians and Ugandans have been a recurring issue in bilateral relations given the role of Indians in the Ugandan economy.[322][323]

International organisations[edit]
India participates in the following international organisations:[324]

AALCO - Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization
ADB – Asian Development Bank
AfDB – African Development Bank (non-regional members)
ASEAN Regional Forum
ASEAN (dialogue partner)
BIMSTEC – Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
BIS – Bank for International Settlements
Commonwealth of Nations
CERN – European Organisation for Nuclear Research (observer)
CP – Colombo Plan
EAS – East Asia Summit
FAO – Food and Agriculture Organisation
G-15
G-20
G-24
G-77
IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency
IBRD – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)
ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organisation
ICC – International Chamber of Commerce
ICRM – International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
IDA – International Development Association
IFAD – International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFC – International Finance Corporation
IFRCS – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
IHO – International Hydrographic Organisation
ILO – International Labour Organisation
IMF – International Monetary Fund
IMO – International Maritime Organisation
IMSO – International Mobile Satellite Organization
Interpol – International Criminal Police Organisation
IOC – International Olympic Committee
IOM – International Organisation for Migration (observer)
IPU – Inter-parliamentary Union
ISO – International Organisation for Standardisation
ITSO – International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation
ITU – International Telecommunication Union
ITUC – International Trade Union Confederation (the successor to ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) and the WCL (World Confederation of Labour))
LAS – League of Arab States (observer)
MIGA – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
MONUC – United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
NAM – Nonaligned Movement
OAS – Organisation of American States (observer)
OPCW – Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
PCA – Permanent Court of Arbitration
PIF – Pacific Islands Forum (partner)
SAARC – South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
SACEP – South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme
SCO – Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (observer)
UN – United Nations
UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDOF – United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNIFIL – United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
UNMEE – United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea
UNMIS – United Nations Mission in Sudan
UNOCI – United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire
UNWTO – World Tourism Organisation
UPU – Universal Postal Union
WCL – World Confederation of Labour
WCO – World Customs Organisation
WFTU – World Federation of Trade Unions
WHO – World Health Organisation
WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organisation
WMO – World Meteorological Organisation
WTO – World Trade Organisation
Non-Aligned Movement[edit]
Main article: India and the Non-Aligned Movement
India played an important role in the multilateral movements of colonies and newly independent countries that developed into the Non-Aligned Movement.

Nonalignment had its origins in India's colonial experience and the nonviolent Indian independence struggle led by theCongress, which left India determined to be the master of its fate in an international system dominated politically by Cold War alliances and economically by Western capitalism and Soviet communism. The principles of nonalignment, as articulated by Nehru and his successors, were preservation of India's freedom of action internationally through refusal to align India with any bloc or alliance, particularly those led by the United States or the Soviet Union; nonviolence and international cooperation as a means of settling international disputes. Nonalignment was a consistent feature of Indian foreign policy by the late 1940s and enjoyed strong, almost unquestioning support among the Indian elite.

The term "Non-Alignment" was coined by V K Menon in his speech at UN in 1953 which was later used by Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations, which were first put forth by PRC Premier Zhou Enlai. Called Panchsheel(five restraints), these principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were:

Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
Mutual non-aggression
Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
Equality and mutual benefit
Peaceful co-existence
Jawaharlal Nehru's concept of nonalignment brought India considerable international prestige among newly independent states that shared India's concerns about the military confrontation between the superpowers and the influence of the former colonial powers. New Delhi used nonalignment to establish a significant role for itself as a leader of the newly independent world in such multilateral organisations as the United Nations (UN) and the Nonaligned Movement. The signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation between India and the Soviet Union in 1971 and India's involvement in the internal affairs of its smaller neighbours in the 1970s and 1980s tarnished New Delhi's image as a nonaligned nation and led some observers to note that in practice, nonalignment applied only to India's relations with countries outside South Asia.

United Nations[edit]
Main article: India and the United Nations
 India was among the original members of the United Nations that signed the Declaration by United Nations at Washington on 1 January 1942 and also participated in the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco from 25 April to 26 June 1945. As a founding member of the United Nations, India strongly supports the purposes and principles of the UN and has made significant contributions to implementing the goals of the Charter, and the evolution of the UN's specialized programmes and agencies.[325] India is a charter member of the United Nations and participates in all of its specialised agencies and organisations. India has contributed troops to United Nations peacekeeping efforts inKorea,[326][327] Egypt and the Congo in its earlier years and in Somalia, Angola, Haiti, Liberia, Lebanon and Rwanda in recent years, and more recently in the South Sudan conflict.[328] India has been a member of the UN Security Council for six terms (a total of 12 years), and was a member for the term 2011-12. India is a member of the G4 group of nations who back each other in seeking a permanent seat on the security council and advocate in favour of the reformation of the UNSC. India is also part of the Group of 77.

World Trade Organisation[edit]
Described by WTO chief Pascal Lamy as one of the organisation's "big brothers",[329] India was instrumental in bringing down the Doha round of talks in 2008.[330] It has played an important role of representing as many as 100 developing nations during WTO summits.[331]

SAARC[edit]
Certain aspects of India's relations within the subcontinent are conducted through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Its members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Established in 1985, SAARC encourages cooperation in agriculture, rural development, science and technology, culture, health, population control, narcotics control and anti-terrorism.

SAARC has intentionally stressed these "core issues" and avoided more divisive political issues, although political dialogue is often conducted on the margins of SAARC meetings. In 1993, India and its SAARC partners signed an agreement to gradually lower tariffs within the region. Forward movement in SAARC has come to a standstill because of the tension between India and Pakistan, and the SAARC Summit originally scheduled for, but not held in, November 1999 has not been rescheduled. The Fourteenth SAARC Summit was held during 3–4 April 2007 in New Delhi.

International disputes[edit]
India's territorial disputes with neighbouring Pakistan and People's Republic of China have played a crucial role in its foreign policy. India is also involved in minor territorial disputes with neighbouring Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. India currently maintains two manned stations in Antarctica but has made some unofficial territorial claims, which are yet to be clarified.

India is involved in the following international disputes:

Bangladesh[edit]
6.5 km of the border between India and Bangladesh remains to be demarcated.
Ongoing discussions with Bangladesh to exchange 162 minuscule enclaves between the two.
Nepal[edit]
Kalapani village of India is claimed by Nepal and Nawalparasi district of Nepal is claimed by India.
The dispute between India and Nepal involves about 75 km2 (29 sq mi) of area in Kalapani, where China, India, and Nepal meet. Indian forces occupied the area in 1962 after China and India fought their border war. Three villages are located in the disputed zone: Kuti [Kuthi, 30°19'N, 80°46'E], Gunji, and Knabe. India and Nepal disagree about how to interpret the 1816 Sugauli treaty between the British East India Company and Nepal, which delimited the boundary along the Maha Kali River (Sarda River in India). The dispute intensified in 1997 as the Nepali parliament considered a treaty on hydro-electric development of the river. India and Nepal differ as to which stream constitutes the source of the river. Nepal regards the Limpiyadhura as the source; India claims the Lipu Lekh. Nepal has reportedly tabled an 1856 map from the British India Office to support its position. The countries have held several meetings about the dispute and discussed jointly surveying to resolve the issue.[332] Although the Indo-Nepali dispute appears to be minor, it was aggravated in 1962 by tensions between China and India. Because the disputed area lies near the Sino-Indian frontier, it gains strategic value.[333]

Maldives[edit]
Some in the Maldives claim that Minicoy Island is Maldivian; although there is no official Maldivian claim to the atoll.[334]In addition, Maldives and India have made arrangements to allow Maldivians to travel directly to Minicoy without a visa. The Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development, which was signed by former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to the Maldives, includes an article on establishing a transport network between the Maldives and Minicoy.
The earlier policy required Maldivians to get a visa from New Delhi before boarding a ferry en route to Minicoy from India's Kochi. The Government of the Maldives has stressed that the ferry service to be established between Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal atoll and Minicoy will also allow cargo to be transported between the Maldives and Minicoy. President Nasheed also expressed hope to start a regular passenger cargo ferry service between the Maldives and Minicoy in the near future.[335]

Pakistan[edit]

Indus and tributaries
The unresolved Kashmir dispute and the status of Kashmir with Pakistan, India claims the disputed territories in Pakistan known as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, while Pakistan disputes India's administration of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dispute over Sir Creek and the maritime boundary regarding the Rann of Kachchh area of India.
Water-sharing problems with Pakistan over the Indus River (Wular Barrage).(Indus Water Treaty)
Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism in India
People's Republic of China[edit]
India claims Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract, as part of Jammu and Kashmir.
China claims most of Arunachal Pradesh, a contested disputed territory of north-east India by not recognising the McMahon Line.
Two regions are claimed by both India and China. Aksai Chin is in the disputed territory of Kashmir, at the junction of Jammu and Kashmir, Tibet and Azad Kashmir. India claims the 38,000-square-kilometre territory, currently administered by China. India also considers the cessation of Shaksam Valley to China by Pakistan as illegal and a part of its territory. Arunachal Pradesh is a state of India in the country's northeast, bordering on Bhutan, Burma and China. Though it is under Indian administration, China calls the 90,000-square-kilometre area as South Tibet. Also the boundary between the North Indianstates of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with China's Tibet is not properly demarcated with some portions under de facto administration of India.[336] These are Kaurik, which lies in Himachal Pradesh, Shipki Pass, which lies in Himachal Pradesh, Jadh, between Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and Lapthal, in Uttarakhand, are disputed areas all claimed by China.

Further reading[edit]
Cohen, Stephen P., and Sunil Dasgupta. Arming Without Aiming: India's Military Modernisation (2010) excerpt and text search
Gaan, Narottam. India and the United States: from Estrangement to Engagement (2007)
Ganguly, Sumit. India's Foreign Policy: Retrospect and Prospect (2012)
Guha, Ramachandra. India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy (2008) excerpt and text search
Jain, B. M. Global Power: India's Foreign Policy, 1947-2006 (2009)
Jain, Rashmi K. The United States and India: 1947-2006 A Documentary Study (2007)
Kust, Matthew J. Foreign Enterprise in India: Laws and Policies (2011)
Malone, David. Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy (2011) excerpt and text search
Michael, Arndt. India's Foreign Policy and Regional Multilateralism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) - Chapter 2: Ideas, Norms, and the Evolution of India's Foreign Policy 1947-2012, pp. 21–47.
Muni, S. D. India's Foreign Policy: The Democracy Dimension (2009)
Schaffer, Teresita C. India and the United States in the 21st Century: Reinventing Partnership (2009)
See also[edit]
India portal
List of dignitaries to visit India
List of state guests on Indian Republic Day (1950–)
List of diplomatic missions in India
List of diplomatic missions of India
Research and Analysis Wing
Role of India in nonaligned movement
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^ Embassy of the Philippines, New Delhi, India. Newdelhipe.com. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k "IPCS Special Report – India-Singapore Relations" (PDF). Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. Archived from the original on 6 June 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
^ a b "India-Singapore Economic and Commercial Relations". Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
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^ a b c NDTV article. Web.archive.org (29 September 2007). Retrieved 12 November 2011.
^ Iryeon, pp. 161–164. (tr. by Ha Tae-Hung & Grafton K. Mintz) (1972). Samguk Yusa. Seoul: Yonsei University Press. ISBN 89-7141-017-5.
^ a b IDSA publication. Web.archive.org (21 May 2007). Retrieved 12 November 2011.
^ a b Blue House commentary[dead link]
^ Joong-ang Daily News article. Web.archive.org (9 March 2005). Retrieved 12 November 2011.
^ Chosun news article. Chosun.com. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
^ a b c d e f g FICCI info. Web.archive.org (21 January 2008). Retrieved 12 November 2011.
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^ a b "India – Vietnam Economic and Commercial Relations". Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
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^ a b "India-Vietnam: Developing a Strategic Partnership"(PDF). Asian Affairs. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
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Japan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Wikipedia Manual of Style concerning Japan-related articles, see MOS:JP
"Nippon" redirects here. For other uses, see Japan (disambiguation) and Nippon (disambiguation).
Japan
日本国
Nippon-koku
Nihon-koku

FlagImperial Seal
Anthem: 
"Kimigayo"
"君が代"

MENU
0:00
Government Seal of Japan

五七桐 (Go-Shichi no Kiri?)

CapitalTokyo
35°41′N 139°46′E
Official languages None[1]
Recognised regional languages
Aynu itak
Ryukyuan languages
Eastern Japanese
Western Japanese
several other Japanese dialects
National languageJapanese
Ethnic groups(2011[2])
98.5% Japanese
0.5% Korean
0.4% Chinese
0.6% other
DemonymJapanese
GovernmentUnitary parliamentaryconstitutional monarchy
 - EmperorAkihito
 - Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
 - Deputy Prime MinisterTarō Asō
LegislatureNational Diet
 - Upper houseHouse of Councillors
 - Lower houseHouse of Representatives
Formation
 - National Foundation DayFebruary 11, 660 BC[3] 
 - Meiji ConstitutionNovember 29, 1890 
 - Current constitutionMay 3, 1947 
 - San Francisco
Peace TreatyApril 28, 1952 
Area
 - Total 377,944 km2[4] (62nd)
145,925 sq mi
 - Water (%) 0.8
Population
 - 2012 estimate 126,659,683[5] (10th)
 - 2010 census 128,056,026[6]
 -  Density337.1/km2 (36th)
873.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP)2014 estimate
 - Total$4.835 trillion[7] (4th)
 -  Per capita$38,053[7] (22nd)
GDP (nominal)2014 estimate
 - Total$4.846 trillion[7] (3rd)
 -  Per capita$38,142[7] (25th)
Gini (2008)37.6[8]
medium · 76th
HDI (2013) 0.890[9]
very high · 17th
CurrencyYen (¥) / En 円 (JPY)
Time zoneJST (UTC+9)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+9)
Date format
yyyy-mm-dd
yyyy年m月d日
Era yy年m月d日 (AD−1988)
Drives on theleft
Calling code+81
ISO 3166 codeJP
Internet TLD.jp
You may need rendering support to display the Japanese text in this article correctly.
Japan i/dʒəˈpæn/ (Japanese: 日本 Nippon or Nihon; formally 日本国  Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, literally "[the] State of Japan") is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of theSea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is often referred to as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which together comprise about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is substantially prone toearthquakes and tsunami, having the highest natural disaster risk in thedeveloped world.[10] Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with over 126 million people. Honshū's Greater Tokyo Area, which includes thede facto capital of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
Archaeological research indicates that people lived in Japan as early as theUpper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other nations followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was only ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. Nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection followed before the Meiji Emperor was restored as head of state in 1868 and the Empire of Japan was proclaimed, with the Emperor as a divine symbol of the nation. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War andWorld War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part ofWorld War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since adopting its revised constitutionin 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with anemperor and an elected legislature called the Diet.
Japan is a member of the UN, the G7, the G8, the G20. A major economicgreat power,[2] Japan is a developed country and has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter andfourth-largest importer. Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the world's eighth largest military budget,[11] used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan ranks high in metrics of prosperity such as the Human Development Index, with Japanese women enjoying the highest life expectancy of any country in the world and the infant mortality rate being the third lowest globally.[12][13][14]
Contents
1 Etymology
2 History
2.1 Prehistory and ancient history
2.2 Feudal era
2.3 Modern era
3 Government and politics
4 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Geography
6.1 Climate
6.2 Biodiversity
6.3 Environment
7 Economy
7.1 Economic history
7.2 Exports
7.3 Imports
7.4 Science and technology
7.5 Infrastructure
8 Demographics
8.1 Religion
8.2 Languages
8.3 Education
8.4 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Art
9.2 Music
9.3 Literature
9.4 Cuisine
9.5 Sports
10 See also
11 References
12 Further reading
13 External links
Etymology
Main article: Names of Japan
The English word Japan derives from the Chinese pronunciation of the Japanese name, 日本 , which in Japanese is pronounced Nippon  listen (help·info) or Nihon  listen (help·info).
From the Meiji Restoration until the end of World War II, the full title of Japan was Dai Nippon Teikoku (大日本帝國?), meaning "the Empire of Great Japan". Today the name Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku(日本国?) is used as a formal modern-day equivalent; countries like Japan whose long form does not contain a descriptive designation are generally given a name appended by the character koku (国?), meaning "country", "nation" or "state".
Japanese people refer to themselves as Nihonjin (日本人?) and to their language as Nihongo (日本語?). Both Nippon andNihon mean "sun-origin" and are often translated as Land of the Rising Sun. This nomenclature comes from Japanese missions to Imperial China and refers to Japan's eastward position relative to China. Before Nihon came into official use, Japan was known as Wa (倭?) or Wakoku (倭国?).[15]
The English word for Japan came to the West via early trade routes. The Old Mandarin or possibly early Wu Chinese (吳語) pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本 'Japan' is Zeppen [zəʔpən]. The old Malay word for Japan, Jepang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect, probably Fukienese or Ningpo,[16] and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders inMalacca in the 16th century. Portuguese traders were the first to bring the word to Europe.[17] An early record of the word in English is in a 1565 letter, spelled Giapan.[18]
History
Main article: History of Japan
Prehistory and ancient history

The Golden Hall and five-storey pagoda of Hōryū-ji, among the oldest wooden buildings in the world, National Treasures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
A Paleolithic culture around 30,000 BC constitutes the first known habitation of the Japanese archipelago. This was followed from around 14,000 BC (the start of theJōmon period) by a Mesolithic to Neolithic semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer culture, who include ancestors of both the contemporary Ainu people and Yamato people,[19][20] characterized by pit dwelling and rudimentary agriculture.[21]Decorated clay vessels from this period are some of the oldest surviving examples of pottery in the world. Around 300 BC, the Yayoi people began to enter the Japanese islands, intermingling with the Jōmon.[22] The Yayoi period, starting around 500 BC, saw the introduction of practices like wet-rice farming,[23] a new style of pottery,[24]and metallurgy, introduced from China and Korea.[25]
Japan first appears in written history in the Chinese Book of Han.[26] According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the most powerful kingdom on the archipelago during the 3rd century was called Yamataikoku. Buddhism was first introduced to Japan from Baekje of Korea, but the subsequent development of Japanese Buddhism was primarily influenced by China.[27] Despite early resistance, Buddhism was promoted by the ruling class and gained widespread acceptance beginning in the Asuka period (592–710).[28]
The Nara period (710–784) of the 8th century marked the emergence of a strong Japanese state, centered on an imperial court in Heijō-kyō (modern Nara). The Nara period is characterized by the appearance of a nascent literature as well as the development of Buddhist-inspired art and architecture.[29] The smallpox epidemic of 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan's population.[30] In 784, Emperor Kammu moved the capital from Nara to Nagaoka-kyō before relocating it to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto) in 794.

Samurai warriors face Mongols, during the Mongol invasions of Japan. The Kamikaze, two storms, are said to have saved Japan from Mongol fleets.
This marked the beginning of the Heian period (794–1185), during which a distinctly indigenous Japanese culture emerged, noted for its art, poetry and prose. Lady Murasaki's The Tale of Genji and the lyrics of Japan's national anthem Kimigayowere written during this time.[31]
Buddhism began to spread during the Heian era chiefly through two major sects,Tendai by Saichō, and Shingon by Kūkai. Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo-shū, Jōdo Shinshū) greatly becomes popular in the latter half of the 11th century.
Feudal era
Japan's feudal era was characterized by the emergence and dominance of a ruling class of warriors, the samurai. In 1185, following the defeat of the Taira clan in the Genpei war, sung in the epic Tale of Heike, samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo was appointed shogun and established a base of power in Kamakura. After his death, the Hōjō clan came to power as regents for the shoguns. The Zen school of Buddhism was introduced from China in theKamakura period (1185–1333) and became popular among the samurai class.[32] The Kamakura shogunate repelledMongol invasions in 1274 and 1281, but was eventually overthrown by Emperor Go-Daigo. Go-Daigo was himself defeated by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336.

Samurai could kill a commoner for the slightest insult and were widely feared by the Japanese population.Edo period, 1798
Ashikaga Takauji established the shogunate in Muromachi, Kyoto. This was the start of the Muromachi Period (1336–1573). The Ashikaga shogunate achieved glory in the age of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and the culture based on Zen Buddhism (art ofMiyabi) prospered. This evolved to Higashiyama Culture, and prospered until the 16th century. On the other hand, the succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords (daimyo), and a civil war (the Ōnin War) began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period ("Warring States").[33]
During the 16th century, traders and Jesuit missionaries from Portugal reached Japan for the first time, initiating direct commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West. Oda Nobunaga conquered many other daimyo using European technology and firearms; after he was assassinated in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in 1590. Hideyoshi invaded Korea twice, but following defeats by Korean and Ming Chinese forces and Hideyoshi's death, Japanese troops were withdrawn in 1598.[34] This age is called Azuchi–Momoyama period (1573–1603).

Re-engraved map of Japan
Tokugawa Ieyasu served as regent for Hideyoshi's son and used his position to gain political and military support. When open war broke out, he defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Ieyasu was appointed shogun in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate at Edo (modern Tokyo).[35] The Tokugawa shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyo;[36] and in 1639, the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868).[37] The study of Western sciences, known asrangaku, continued through contact with the Dutch enclave at Dejima in Nagasaki. The Edo period also gave rise to kokugaku ("national studies"), the study of Japan by the Japanese.[38]
Modern era
On March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa. Subsequent similar treaties with Western countries in theBakumatsu period brought economic and political crises. The resignation of the shogun led to the Boshin War and the establishment of a centralized state nominally unified under the Emperor (the Meiji Restoration).[39]

Chinese generals surrendering to the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895
Adopting Western political, judicial and military institutions, the Cabinet organized the Privy Council, introduced the Meiji Constitution, and assembled the Imperial Diet. The Meiji Restoration transformed the Empire of Japan into an industrialized world power that pursued military conflict to expand its sphere of influence. After victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japan gained control of Taiwan, Korea, and the southern half of Sakhalin.[40]Japan's population grew from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million in 1935.[41]

Emperor Meiji (1868–1912), in whose name imperial rule was restored at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate
The early 20th century saw a brief period of "Taishō democracy" overshadowed by increasingexpansionism and militarization. World War I enabled Japan, on the side of the victoriousAllies, to widen its influence and territorial holdings. It continued its expansionist policy by occupying Manchuria in 1931; as a result of international condemnation of this occupation, Japan resigned from the League of Nations two years later. In 1936, Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany, and the 1940 Tripartite Pact made it one of the Axis Powers.[42] In 1941, Japan negotiated the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact.[43]
The Empire of Japan invaded other parts of China in 1937, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). The Imperial Japanese Army swiftly captured the capitalNanjing and conducted the Nanking Massacre.[44] In 1940, the Empire then invaded French Indochina, after which the United States placed an oil embargo on Japan.[45] On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor and declared war, bringing the US into World War II.[46][47] After the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender on August 15.[48] The war cost Japan and the rest of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Spheremillions of lives and left much of the nation's industry and infrastructure destroyed. The Allies (led by the US) repatriated millions of ethnic Japanese from colonies and military camps throughout Asia, largely eliminating the Japanese empire and restoring the independence of its conquered territories.[49] The Allies also convened the International Military Tribunal for the Far East on May 3, 1946 to prosecute some Japanese leaders for war crimes. However, the bacteriological research units and members of the imperial family involved in the war were exonerated from criminal prosecutions by the Supreme Allied Commander despite calls for trials for both groups.[50]
In 1947, Japan adopted a new constitution emphasizing liberal democratic practices. The Allied occupation ended with theTreaty of San Francisco in 1952[51] and Japan was granted membership in the United Nations in 1956. Japan later achievedrapid growth to become the second-largest economy in the world, until surpassed by China in 2010. This ended in the mid-1990s when Japan suffered a major recession. In the beginning of the 21st century, positive growth has signaled a gradual economic recovery.[52] On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered the strongest earthquake in its recorded history; this triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, one of the worst disasters in the history of nuclear power.[53]
Government and politics
Main articles: Government of Japan and Politics of Japan

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
Japan is a constitutional monarchy where the power of the Emperor is very limited. As a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the constitution as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." Power is held chiefly by the Prime Minister and other elected members of the Diet, while sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people.[54] Akihito is the current Emperor of Japan; Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, stands as next in line to the throne.
Japan's legislative organ is the National Diet, a bicameral parliament. The Diet consists of a House of Representatives with 480 seats, elected by popular vote every four years or when dissolved, and a House of Councillors of 242 seats, whose popularly elected members serve six-year terms. There is universal suffrage for adults over 20 years of age,[2] with a secret ballot for all elected offices.[54] The Diet is dominated by the social liberal Democratic Party of Japan and the conservativeLiberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP has enjoyed near continuous electoral success since 1955, except for a brief 11 month period between 1993 and 1994, and from 2009 to 2012. It holds 294 seats in the lower house and 83 seats in the upper house.
The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government and is appointed by the Emperor after being designated by the Diet from among its members. The Prime Minister is the head of the Cabinet, and he appoints and dismisses the Ministers of State. Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election, Shinzō Abe replaced Yoshihiko Noda as the Prime Minister on December 26, 2012.[55] Although the Prime Minister is formally appointed by the Emperor, the Constitution of Japan explicitly requires the Emperor to appoint whoever is designated by the Diet.[54]
Historically influenced by Chinese law, the Japanese legal system developed independently during the Edo period through texts such as Kujikata Osadamegaki.[56] However, since the late 19th century the judicial system has been largely based on the civil law of Europe, notably Germany. For example, in 1896, the Japanese government established a civil code based on a draft of the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch; with post–World War II modifications, the code remains in effect.[57]Statutory law originates in Japan's legislature and has the rubber stamp of the Emperor. The Constitution requires that the Emperor promulgate legislation passed by the Diet, without specifically giving him the power to oppose legislation.[54]Japan's court system is divided into four basic tiers: the Supreme Court and three levels of lower courts.[58] The main body of Japanese statutory law is called the Six Codes.[59]
Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of Japan and Japan Self-Defense Forces

JDS Kongō (DDG-173)guided missile destroyerlaunching a Standard Missile 3 anti-ballistic missile
Japan is a member of the G8, APEC, and "ASEAN Plus Three", and is a participant in theEast Asia Summit. Japan signed a security pact with Australia in March 2007[60] and withIndia in October 2008.[61] It is the world's third largest donor of official development assistance after the United States and France, donating US$9.48 billion in 2009.[62]
Japan has close economic and military relations with the United States; the US-Japan security alliance acts as the cornerstone of the nation's foreign policy.[63] A member state of the United Nations since 1956, Japan has served as a non-permanent Security Councilmember for a total of 20 years, most recently for 2009 and 2010. It is one of the G4 nationsseeking permanent membership in the Security Council.[64]
Japan is engaged in several territorial disputes with its neighbors: with Russia over theSouth Kuril Islands, with South Korea over the Liancourt Rocks, with China and Taiwan over the Senkaku Islands, and with China over the EEZ around Okinotorishima.[65] Japan also faces an ongoing dispute with North Korea over the latter's abduction of Japanese citizensand its nuclear weapons and missile program (see also Six-party talks).[66]
Japan maintains one of the largest military budgets of any country in the world.[67] Japan contributed non-combatant troops to the Iraq War but subsequently withdrew its forces.[68] The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is a regular participant inRIMPAC maritime exercises.[69]
Japan's military (the Japan Self-Defense Forces) is restricted by Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces Japan's right to declare war or use military force in international disputes. Accordingly Japan's Self-Defence force is a usual military that has never fired shots outside Japan.[70] It is governed by the Ministry of Defense, and primarily consists of theJapan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The forces have been recently used in peacekeeping operations; the deployment of troops to Iraqmarked the first overseas use of Japan's military since World War II.[68] Nippon Keidanren has called on the government to lift the ban on arms exports so that Japan can join multinational projects such as the Joint Strike Fighter.[71]
In May 2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan wanted to shed the passiveness it has maintained since the end of World War II and take more responsibility for regional security. He said Japan wanted to play a key role and offered neighboring countries Japan's support.[72]
Administrative divisions
Further information: Prefectures of Japan, Regions of Japan, Cities of Japan, Towns of Japan and Villages of Japan
Japan consists of forty-seven prefectures, each overseen by an elected governor, legislature and administrative bureaucracy. Each prefecture is further divided into cities, towns and villages.[73] The nation is currently undergoing administrative reorganization by merging many of the cities, towns and villages with each other. This process will reduce the number of sub-prefecture administrative regions and is expected to cut administrative costs.[74]

Geography
Main articles: Geography of Japan and Geology of Japan

Topographic map of the Japanese archipelago
Japan has a total of 6,852 islands extending along the Pacific coast of East Asia. The country, including all of the islands it controls, lies between latitudes 24° and 46°N, and longitudes 122° and 146°E. The main islands, from north to south, areHokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The Ryukyu Islands, which includesOkinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyushu. Together they are often known as theJapanese Archipelago.[75]
About 73 percent of Japan is forested, mountainous, and unsuitable for agricultural,industrial, or residential use.[2][76] As a result, the habitable zones, mainly located in coastal areas, have extremely high population densities. Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.[77]
The islands of Japan are located in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire. They are primarily the result of large oceanic movements occurring over hundreds of millions of years from the mid-Silurian to the Pleistocene as a result of thesubduction of the Philippine Sea Plate beneath the continental Amurian Plate andOkinawa Plate to the south, and subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Okhotsk Plate to the north. Japan was originally attached to the eastern coast of the Eurasian continent. The subducting plates pulled Japan eastward, opening the Sea of Japan around 15 million years ago.[78]
Japan has 108 active volcanoes. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunami, occur several times each century.[79]The 1923 Tokyo earthquake killed over 140,000 people.[80] More recent major quakes are the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, a 9.0-magnitude[81] quake which hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and triggered a large tsunami.[53] Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes and tsunami, having the highest natural disaster risk in the developed world.[10]
Climate
Main article: Climate of Japan

Cherry blossoms of Mount Yoshinohas been the subject of many plays and waka poetry.

Autumn maple leaves (momiji) atKongōbu-ji on Mount Kōya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate, but varies greatly from north to south. Japan's geographical features divide it into six principal climatic zones: Hokkaido, Sea of Japan, Central Highland, Seto Inland Sea, Pacific Ocean, and Ryūkyū Islands. The northernmost zone, Hokkaido, has a humid continental climatewith long, cold winters and very warm to cool summers. Precipitation is not heavy, but the islands usually develop deep snowbanks in the winter.[82]
In the Sea of Japan zone on Honshu's west coast, northwest winter winds bring heavy snowfall. In the summer, the region is cooler than the Pacific area, though it sometimes experiences extremely hot temperatures because of the foehn wind. The Central Highland has a typical inland humid continental climate, with large temperature differences between summer and winter, and between day and night; precipitation is light, though winters are usually snowy. The mountains of theChūgoku and Shikoku regions shelter the Seto Inland Sea from seasonal winds, bringing mild weather year-round.[82]
The Pacific coast features a humid subtropical climate that experiences milder winters with occasional snowfall and hot, humid summers because of the southeast seasonal wind. The Ryukyu Islands have a subtropical climate, with warm winters and hot summers. Precipitation is very heavy, especially during the rainy season. The generally humid, temperate climate exhibits marked seasonal variation such as the blooming of the spring cherry blossoms, the calls of the summer cicada and fall foliage colors that are celebrated in art and literature.[82]
The average winter temperature in Japan is 5.1 °C (41.2 °F) and the average summer temperature is 25.2 °C (77.4 °F).[83] The highest temperature ever measured in Japan—40.9 °C (105.6 °F)—was recorded on August 16, 2007.[84] The main rainy season begins in early May in Okinawa, and the rain front gradually moves north until reaching Hokkaido in late July. In most of Honshu, the rainy season begins before the middle of June and lasts about six weeks. In late summer and early autumn, typhoons often bring heavy rain.[85]
Biodiversity

The Japanese macaques atJigokudani hot spring are notable for visiting the spa in the winter.
Japan has nine forest ecoregions which reflect the climate and geography of the islands. They range from subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the Ryūkyū andBonin Islands, to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests in the mild climate regions of the main islands, to temperate coniferous forests in the cold, winter portions of the northern islands.[86] Japan has over 90,000 species of wildlife, including the brown bear, the Japanese macaque, the Japanese raccoon dog, and the Japanese giant salamander.[87] A large network of national parks has been established to protect important areas of flora and fauna as well as thirty-seven Ramsar wetland sites.[88][89] Four sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding natural value.[90]
Environment
Main article: Environmental issues in Japan
In the period of rapid economic growth after World War II, environmental policies were downplayed by the government and industrial corporations; as a result, environmental pollution was widespread in the 1950s and 1960s. Responding to rising concern about the problem, the government introduced several environmental protection laws in 1970.[91] The oil crisis in 1973 also encouraged the efficient use of energy because of Japan's lack of natural resources.[92] Current environmental issues include urban air pollution (NOx, suspended particulate matter, and toxics), waste management, water eutrophication,nature conservation, climate change, chemical management and international co-operation for conservation.[93]
Japan is a world leader in developing and implementing new environmentally-friendly technologies, subsequently ranking 26th in the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, which measures a nation's commitment to environmental sustainability.[94] As a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, and host of the 1997 conference that created it, Japan is under treaty obligation to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and to take other steps to curb climate change.[95]
Economy
Main article: Economy of Japan

The Tokyo Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Asia[96]
Economic history
Some of the structural features for Japan's economic growth developed in the Edo period, such as the network of transport routes, by road and water, and the futures contracts, banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers.[97] During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy.[98] Many of today's enterprises were founded at the time, and Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia.[99] The period of overall real economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s has been called the Japanese post-war economic miracle: it averaged 7.5 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, and 3.2 percent in the 1980s and early 1990s.[100]
Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s during what the Japanese call the Lost Decade, largely because of the after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the global slowdown in 2000.[2] The economy showed strong signs of recovery after 2005; GDP growth for that year was 2.8 percent, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period.[101]
As of 2012, Japan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP,[102] and the fourth largest national economy in the world, after the United States, China and India, in terms ofpurchasing power parity.[7] As of December 2013, Japan's public debt was more than 200 percent of its annual gross domestic product, the second largest of any nation in the world. In August 2011, Moody's rating has cut Japan's long-term sovereign debt rating one notch from Aa3 to Aa2 inline with the size of the country's deficit and borrowing level. The large budget deficits and government debt since the 2009 global recession and followed by earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 made the rating downgrade.[103] The service sector accounts for three quarters of the gross domestic product.[104]
Exports

A plug-in hybrid car manufactured byToyota, one of the world's largest carmakers. Japan is the second-largest producer of automobiles in the world.[105]
Japan has a large industrial capacity, and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Agricultural businesses in Japan cultivate 13 percent of Japan's land, and Japan accounts for nearly 15 percent of the global fish catch, second only to China.[2] As of 2010, Japan's labor force consisted of some 65.9 million workers.[106]Japan has a low unemployment rate of around four percent. Some 20 million people, around 17 per cent of the population, were below the poverty line in 2007.[107]Housing in Japan is characterized by limited land supply in urban areas.[108]
Japan's exports amounted to US$4,210 per capita in 2005. As of 2012, Japan's main export markets were China (18.1 percent), the United States (17.8 percent), South Korea (7.7 percent), Thailand (5.5 percent) and Hong Kong (5.1 percent). Its main exports are transportation equipment, motor vehicles, electronics, electrical machinery and chemicals.[2] Japan's main import markets as of 2012 were China (21.3 percent), the US (8.8 percent), Australia (6.4 percent), Saudi Arabia (6.2 percent), United Arab Emirates (5.0 percent), South Korea (4.6 percent) and Qatar (4.0 percent).[2]
Imports
Japan's main imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs (in particular beef), chemicals, textiles and raw materials for its industries. By market share measures, domestic markets are the least open of any OECD country.[109]Junichiro Koizumi's administration began some pro-competition reforms, and foreign investment in Japan has soared.[110]
Japan ranks 27th of 189 countries in the 2014 Ease of doing business index and has one of the smallest tax revenues of the developed world. The Japanese variant of capitalism has many distinct features: keiretsu enterprises are influential, andlifetime employment and seniority-based career advancement are relatively common in the Japanese work environment.[109][111] Japanese companies are known for management methods like "The Toyota Way", and shareholder activism is rare.[112]
Some of the largest enterprises in Japan include Toyota, Nintendo, NTT DoCoMo, Canon, Honda, Takeda Pharmaceutical,Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, Nippon Steel, Nippon Oil, and Seven & I Holdings Co..[113] It has some of the world's largest banks, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (known for its Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices) stands as the second largest in the world by market capitalization.[114] As of 2006, Japan was home to 326 companies from the Forbes Global 2000 or 16.3 percent.[115] In 2013, it was announced that Japan would be importing shale natural gas.[116]
Science and technology
Main article: Science and technology in Japan

The Japanese Experiment Module(Kibo) at the International Space Station
Japan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly technology, machinery and biomedical research. Nearly 700,000 researchers share a US$130 billionresearch and development budget, the third largest in the world.[117] Japan is a world leader in fundamental scientific research, having produced sixteen Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry or medicine,[118] three Fields medalists,[119]and one Gauss Prize laureate.[120] Some of Japan's more prominent technological contributions are in the fields of electronics, automobiles, machinery, earthquake engineering, industrial robotics, optics, chemicals, semiconductors and metals. Japan leads the world in robotics production and use, possessing more than half (402,200 of 742,500) of the world's industrial robots.[121]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is Japan's space agency; it conducts space, planetary, and aviation research, and leads development of rockets and satellites. It is a participant in the International Space Station: the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) was added to the station during Space Shuttle assembly flights in 2008.[122] Japan's plans inspace exploration include: launching a space probe to Venus, Akatsuki;[123][124] developing the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to be launched in 2016;[125] and building a moon base by 2030.[126]
On September 14, 2007, it launched lunar explorer "SELENE" (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) on an H-IIA (Model H2A2022) carrier rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. SELENE is also known as Kaguya, after the lunar princess ofThe Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.[127] Kaguya is the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program. Its purpose is to gather data on the moon's origin and evolution. It entered a lunar orbit on October 4,[128][129] flying at an altitude of about 100 km (62 mi).[130] The probe's mission was ended when it was deliberately crashed by JAXA into the Moon on June 11, 2009.[131]
Infrastructure
Main articles: Energy in Japan and Transport in Japan

A high-speed Shinkansen "Bullet train".
As of 2011, 46.1 percent of energy in Japan was produced from petroleum, 21.3 percent from coal, 21.4 percent from natural gas, 4.0 percent from nuclear power, and 3.3 percent from hydropower. Nuclear power produced 9.2 percent of Japan's electricity, as of 2011, down from 24.9 percent the previous year.[132] However, as of May 5, 2012, all of the country's nuclear power plants had been taken offline because of ongoing public opposition following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, though government officials have been continuing to try to sway public opinion in favor of returning at least some of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors to service.[133] Given its heavy dependence on imported energy,[134] Japan has aimed to diversify its sources and maintain high levels of energy efficiency.[135]
Japan's road spending has been extensive.[136] Its 1.2 million kilometers of paved road are the main means of transportation.[137] A single network of high-speed, divided, limited-access toll roads connects major cities and is operated by toll-collecting enterprises. New and used cars are inexpensive; car ownership fees and fuel levies are used to promote energy efficiency. However, at just 50 percent of all distance traveled, car usage is the lowest of all G8 countries.[138]
Dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; major companies include seven JR enterprises, Kintetsu Corporation, Seibu Railway and Keio Corporation. Some 250 high-speed Shinkansentrains connect major cities and Japanese trains are known for their safety and punctuality.[139][140] Proposals for a newMaglev route between Tokyo and Osaka are at an advanced stage.[141] There are 175 airports in Japan;[2] the largest domestic airport, Haneda Airport, is Asia's second-busiest airport.[142] The largest international gateways are Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chūbu Centrair International Airport.[143] Nagoya Port is the country's largest and busiest port, accounting for 10 percent of Japan's trade value.[144]
Demographics
Main articles: Demographics of Japan, Japanese people and Ethnic issues in Japan

Ainu, an ethnic minority people from Japan

A Japanese wedding at the Meiji Shrine
Japan's population is estimated at around 127.3 million,[2] with 80% of the population living on Honshū. Japanese society is linguistically and culturally homogeneous,[145]composed of 98.5% ethnic Japanese,[146] with small populations of foreign workers.[145] Zainichi Koreans,[147] Zainichi Chinese, Filipinos, Brazilians mostly of Japanese descent,[148] and Peruvians mostly of Japanese descent are among the small minority groups in Japan.[149] In 2003, there were about 134,700 non-Latin American Western and 345,500 Latin American expatriates, 274,700 of whom wereBrazilians (said to be primarily Japanese descendants, or nikkeijin, along with their spouses),[148] the largest community of Westerners.[150]
The most dominant native ethnic group is the Yamato people; primary minority groups include the indigenous Ainu[151] and Ryukyuan peoples, as well as social minority groups like the burakumin.[152] There are persons of mixed ancestry incorporated among the 'ethnic Japanese' or Yamato, such as those fromOgasawara Archipelago where roughly one-tenth of the Japanese population can have European, American, Micronesian and/or Polynesian backgrounds, with some families going back up to seven generations.[153] In spite of the widespread belief that Japan is ethnically homogeneous (in 2009, foreign-born non-naturalized workers made up only 1.7% of the total population),[154] also because of the absence of ethnicity and/or race statistics for Japanese nationals, at least one analysis describes Japan as a multiethnic society, for example, John Lie.[155]However, this statement is refused by many sectors of Japanese society, who still tend to preserve the idea of Japan being amonocultural society and with this ideology of homogeneity, has traditionally rejected any need to recognize ethnic differences in Japan, even as such claims have been rejected by such ethnic minorities as the Ainu and Ryukyuan people. Former Japanese Prime Minister Tarō Asō has once described Japan as being a nation of "one race, one civilization, one language and one culture".[156]
Japan has the second longest overall life expectancy at birth of any country in the world: 83.5 years for persons born in the period 2010–2015.[13][14] The Japanese population is rapidly aging as a result of a post–World War II baby boom followed by a decrease in birth rates. In 2012, about 24.1 percent of the population was over 65, and the proportion is projected to rise to almost 40 percent by 2050.[157]
The changes in demographic structure have created a number of social issues, particularly a potential decline in workforce population and increase in the cost of social security benefits like the public pension plan.[158] A growing number of younger Japanese are preferring not to marry or have families.[159] In 2011, Japan's population dropped for a fifth year, falling by 204,000 people to 126.24 million people. This was the greatest decline since at least 1947, when comparable figures were first compiled.[160] This decline was made worse by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami which killed nearly 16,000 people with approximately another 3,000 still listed as missing.[161]
Japan's population is expected to drop to 95 million by 2050,[157][162] demographers and government planners are currently in a heated debate over how to cope with this problem.[159] Immigration and birth incentives are sometimes suggested as a solution to provide younger workers to support the nation's aging population.[163][164] Japan accepts a steady flow of 15,000new Japanese citizens by naturalization (帰化) per year.[165] According to the UNHCR, in 2012 Japan accepted just 18 refugees for resettlement,[166] while the US took in 76,000.[167]
Japan suffers from a high suicide rate.[168][169] In 2009, the number of suicides exceeded 30,000 for the twelfth straight year.[170] Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 30.[171]

 v t e
Largest cities or towns of Japan
2010 Census
RankNamePrefecturePop.RankNamePrefecturePop.

Tokyo

Yokohama1TokyoTokyo8,949,44711HiroshimaHiroshima1,174,209
Osaka

Nagoya
2YokohamaKanagawa3,689,60312SendaiMiyagi1,045,903
3OsakaOsaka2,666,371 13KitakyushuFukuoka977,288
4NagoyaAichi2,263,907 14ChibaChiba962,130
5SapporoHokkaidō1,914,434 15SakaiOsaka842,134
6KobeHyōgo1,544,873 16NiigataNiigata812,192
7KyotoKyōto1,474,473 17HamamatsuShizuoka800,912
8FukuokaFukuoka1,463,826 18KumamotoKumamoto734,294
9KawasakiKanagawa1,425,678 19SagamiharaKanagawa717,561
10SaitamaSaitama1,222,910 20ShizuokaShizuoka716,328
Religion
Main article: Religion in Japan

The Torii of Itsukushima Shrinenear Hiroshima, one of the Three Views of Japan and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Japan enjoys full religious freedom based on Article 20 of its Constitution. Upper estimates suggest that 84–96 percent of the Japanese population subscribe toBuddhism or Shinto, including a large number of followers of a syncretism of both religions.[2][172] However, these estimates are based on people affiliated with a temple, rather than the number of true believers. Other studies have suggested that only 30 percent of the population identify themselves as belonging to a religion.[173]According to Edwin Reischauer and Marius Jansen, some 70–80% of the Japanese regularly tell pollsters they do not consider themselves believers in any religion.[174]
Nevertheless, the level of participation remains high, especially during festivals and occasions such as the first shrine visit of the New Year. Taoism and Confucianismfrom China have also influenced Japanese beliefs and customs.[175] Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas. Fewer than one percent of Japanese are Christian.[176] Other minority religions include Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism, and since the mid-19th century numerous new religious movements have emerged in Japan.[177]
Languages
Main articles: Languages of Japan and Japanese language
More than 99 percent of the population speaks Japanese as their first language.[2] Japanese is an agglutinative languagedistinguished by a system of honorifics reflecting the hierarchical nature of Japanese society, with verb forms and particular vocabulary indicating the relative status of speaker and listener. Japanese writing uses kanji (Chinese characters) and two sets of kana (syllabaries based on simplified Chinese characters), as well as the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals.[178]
Besides Japanese, the Ryukyuan languages (Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama, Yonaguni), also part of theJaponic language family, are spoken in the Ryukyu Islands chain. Few children learn these languages,[179] but in recent years the local governments have sought to increase awareness of the traditional languages. The Okinawan Japanesedialect is also spoken in the region. The Ainu language, which has no proven relationship to Japanese or any other language, is moribund, with only a few elderly native speakers remaining in Hokkaido.[180] Most public and private schools require students to take courses in both Japanese and English.[181][182]
Education
Main article: Education in Japan

Announcement of the results of theentrance examinations to the University of Tokyo
Primary schools, secondary schools and universities were introduced in 1872 as a result of the Meiji Restoration.[183] Since 1947, compulsory education in Japan comprises elementary and middle school, which together last for nine years (from age 6 to age 15). Almost all children continue their education at a three-year seniorhigh school, and, according to the MEXT, as of 2005 about 75.9 percent of high school graduates attended a university, junior college, trade school, or other higher education institution.[184]
The two top-ranking universities in Japan are the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.[185][186] The Programme for International Student Assessmentcoordinated by the OECD currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of Japanese 15-year-olds as sixth best in the world.[187]
Health
Main articles: Health in Japan and Health care system in Japan
In Japan, health care is provided by national and local governments. Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments. Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance.[188]Patients are free to select the physicians or facilities of their choice.[189]
Culture

Kinkaku-ji or 'The Temple of the Golden Pavilion' in Kyoto, Special Historic Site, Special Place of Scenic Beauty, and UNESCO World Heritage Site; its torching by a monk in 1950 is the subject of a novel by Mishima.
Main article: Culture of Japan
See also: Japanese popular culture
Japanese culture has evolved greatly from its origins. Contemporary culture combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. Traditional Japanese arts include crafts such as ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, swords and dolls; performances of bunraku, kabuki, noh, dance, and rakugo; and other practices, thetea ceremony, ikebana, martial arts, calligraphy, origami, onsen, Geisha and games. Japan has a developed system for the protection and promotion of both tangible and intangible Cultural Properties and National Treasures.[190] Sixteen sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, twelve of which are of cultural significance.[90]
Art

19th-century Ukiyo-e woodblock printing The Great Wave off Kanagawa, one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world.
Further information: Japanese art, Japanese architecture, Japanese garden andJapanese aesthetics
The Shrines of Ise have been celebrated as the prototype of Japanese architecture.[191] Largely of wood, traditional housing and many temple buildingssee the use of tatami mats and sliding doors that break down the distinction between rooms and indoor and outdoor space.[192] Japanese sculpture, largely of wood, andJapanese painting are among the oldest of the Japanese arts, with early figurative paintings dating back to at least 300 BC. The history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and adaptation of imported ideas.[193]
The interaction between Japanese and European art has been significant: for example ukiyo-e prints, which began to be exported in the 19th century in the movement known as Japonism, had a significant influence on the development of modern art in the West, most notably onpost-Impressionism.[193] Famous ukiyo-e artists include Hokusai and Hiroshige. The fusion of traditional woodblock printingand Western art led to the creation of manga, a comic book format that is now popular within and outside Japan.[194]Manga-influenced animation for television and film is called anime. Japanese-made video game consoles have been popular since the 1980s.[195]
Music
Main article: Music of Japan
Japanese music is eclectic and diverse. Many instruments, such as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries. The accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-likeshamisen, from the sixteenth.[196] Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture. The imperial court ensemble Gagaku has influenced the work of some modern Western composers.[197]
Notable classical composers from Japan include Toru Takemitsu and Rentarō Taki. Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop, or Japanese popular music.[198] Karaoke is the most widely practiced cultural activity in Japan. A 1993 survey by the Cultural Affairs Agencyfound that more Japanese had sung karaoke that year than had participated in traditional pursuits such as flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies.[199]
Literature
Main articles: Japanese literature and Japanese poetry

12th-century illustrated handscroll ofThe Tale of Genji, a National Treasure
The earliest works of Japanese literature include the Kojiki and Nihon Shokichronicles and the Man'yōshū poetry anthology, all from the 8th century and written in Chinese characters.[200][201] In the early Heian period, the system of phonogramsknown as kana (Hiragana and Katakana) was developed. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is considered the oldest Japanese narrative.[202] An account of Heian court life is given in The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon, while The Tale of Genji byMurasaki Shikibu is often described as the world's first novel.[203][204]
During the Edo period, the chōnin ("townspeople") overtook the samurai aristocracy as producers and consumers of literature. The popularity of the works of Saikaku, for example, reveals this change in readership and authorship, while Bashō revivified the poetic tradition of the Kokinshū with his haikai (haiku) and wrote the poetic travelogue Oku no Hosomichi.[205] The Meiji era saw the decline of traditional literary forms as Japanese literature integrated Western influences. Natsume Sōseki and Mori Ōgai were the first "modern" novelists of Japan, followed byRyūnosuke Akutagawa, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Yukio Mishima and, more recently, Haruki Murakami. Japan has two Nobel Prize-winning authors—Yasunari Kawabata (1968) and Kenzaburō Ōe (1994).[202]
Cuisine

Breakfast at a ryokan or inn
Main article: Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods, typically Japanese rice ornoodles, with a soup and okazu — dishes made from fish, vegetable, tofu and the like – to add flavor to the staple food. In the early modern era ingredients such as red meats that had previously not been widely used in Japan were introduced. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food,[206] quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients. The Michelin Guide has awarded restaurants in Japan more Michelin stars than the rest of the world combined.[207]
Sports
Main article: Sport in Japan

Sumo wrestlers form around the referee during the ring-entering ceremony
Traditionally, sumo is considered Japan's national sport.[208] Japanese martial artssuch as judo, karate and kendo are also widely practiced and enjoyed by spectators in the country. After the Meiji Restoration, many Western sports were introduced in Japan and began to spread through the education system.[209] Japan hosted the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. Japan has hosted the Winter Olympics twice:Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.[210] Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, making Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice.[211] Japan is the most successful Asian Rugby Union country, winning the Asian Five Nations a record 6 times and winning the newly formed IRB Pacific Nations Cup in 2011. Japan will host the 2019 IRB Rugby World Cup.[212]
Baseball is currently the most popular spectator sport in the country. Japan's top professional league, Nippon Professional Baseball, was established in 1936.[213]Since the establishment of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992, association football has also gained a wide following.[214] Japan was a venue of the Intercontinental Cup from 1981 to 2004 and co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cupwith South Korea.[215] Japan has one of the most successful football teams in Asia, winning the Asian Cup four times.[216]Also, Japan recently won the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011.[217] Golf is also popular in Japan,[218] as are forms of auto racing like the Super GT series and Formula Nippon.[219] The country has produced one NBA player, Yuta Tabuse.[220]
See also
Japan portal
Islands portal
Asia portal
Tourism in Japan
Outline of Japan
Index of Japan-related articles
References
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^ C. R. Boxer, The Christian Century In Japan 1549–1650, University of California Press, 1951p. 11, 28—36, 49—51,ISBN 1-85754-035-2
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^ See for example, Olivier Messiaen, Sept haïkaï (1962), (Olivier Messiaen: a research and information guide, Routledge, 2008, By Vincent Perez Benitez, page 67) and (Messiaen the Theologian, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2010, page 243-65, By Andrew Shenton)
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Further reading
Flath, The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press, 2000 (ISBN 0-19-877503-2)
Henshall, A History of Japan, Palgrave Macmillan, 2001 (ISBN 0-312-23370-1)
Iwabuchi, Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism, Duke University Press, 2002 (ISBN 0-8223-2891-7)
Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan, Belknap, 2000 (ISBN 0-674-00334-9)
Kato et al., A History of Japanese Literature: From the Man'Yoshu to Modern Times, Japan Library, 1997 (ISBN 1-873410-48-4)
Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, Cornell University Press, 2008 (ISBN 0-8014-7490-6)
Silverberg, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times, University of California Press, 2007 (ISBN 0-520-22273-3)
Sugimoto et al., An Introduction to Japanese Society, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (ISBN 0-521-52925-5)
Varley, Japanese Culture, University of Hawaii Press, 2000 (ISBN 0-8248-2152-1)
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India better prepared for eventual Fed rate hike, says RBI chief
Hindustan Times - ‎1 hour ago‎

India is better prepared to handle the impact of interest rate increases in the United States as foreign funds are less likely to desert the country due to signs of an upturn in economic growth, its central bank chief said in an interview published on Sunday.
Opinion:Raghuram Rajan interview: 'I'm no Bond. I'm a banker on the move'Economic Times
In-depth:We can't be seen as a paper tiger: RBI's Raghuram RajanLivemint
RelatedRaghuram Rajan »Reserve Bank of India »Federal Reserve System »

Times of India
UPA should get credit for GDP at 5.7%: Chidambaram
Firstpost - ‎10 hours ago‎

New Delhi: Taking credit for the uptick in domestic economy, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the 5.7 percent growth in the first quarter vindicates UPA government's projection that revival would take place in the beginning of 2014-15 ...
Household Financial Savings Rate Rises to 7.2 Per Cent of GDP
NDTV - ‎3 hours ago‎

Mumbai: Household financial savings rates continued to remain low, inching up a paltry 10 basis points to 7.2 per cent of GDP in 2013-14 amid sticky inflation.

Financial Express
After petrol, Govt hints at diesel price reduction
Times of India - ‎1 hour ago‎

CHANDIGARH: After slashing petrol prices by up to Rs 2.50 a litre, the government is working hard to deliver on its Lok Sabha poll promises and its eyes are now on diesel price reduction, home minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.

Moneycontrol.com
ED begins probe against a dozen online e-retail firms
Moneycontrol.com - ‎5 hours ago‎

The agency, according to sources, has received a communication from the country's banking regulator—the Reserve Bank of India regarding a few firms while it has took up the rest cases suo-moto for probe under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange ...

NDTV
Credit-less growth, despite rebound in GDP in June quarter
Livemint - ‎37 minutes ago‎

Has industry become so efficient in working capital management? Even credit growth to the trade sector has increased by just 0.4% this fiscal, against 1.6% last year.

Economic Times
Maruti confident of shareholders' nod on Guj, says no plan B
Hindustan Times - ‎44 minutes ago‎

Maruti Suzuki India is confident of getting minority shareholders' nod to let parent Suzuki Motor Corp own and invest in its Gujarat facility and has no second option.

Business Standard
AirAsia India safety head resigns
Business Standard - ‎6 minutes ago‎

AirAsia India's head of safety Sumant Mishra has resigned, three months after the domestic arm of the Malaysian budget airline got off the ground, sources said.

Business Standard
Cabinet may take up road ministry's proposal to amend model concessionaire pact
Livemint - ‎2 hours ago‎

Amendment to the model concessionaire agreement will bring necessary change and will be applicable not only to future projects but also the contracts which have been completed so far, a road ministry official said.

Zee News
Markets to see positive start on GDP data; coal block ruling eyed
Hindustan Times - ‎8 hours ago‎

Stock markets are likely to see positive opening on Monday following increase in the country's growth rate in June quarter, besides cautious sentiment may prevail as the Supreme Court will decide the fate of coal blocks and announcement of current account ...

Economic Times
Italian court accepts request for monetary measures: Finmeccannica
Economic Times - ‎1 hour ago‎

NEW DELHI: Facing a CBI probe in India, defence firm Finmeccannica today claimed that an Italian court hearing the VVIP chopper scam has accepted its "request for monetary measures" in the case against its subsidiary company AgustaWestland and ...

Economic Times
DLF asks independent directors for ways to grow Rs 2K crore rental business
Economic Times - ‎4 hours ago‎

NEW DELHI: India's largest realty firm DLF has asked the company's independent directors to suggest ways to push the growth of its rental business.
Fake note crooks lapping up Rs. 100, Rs. 1000 bills: RBI
Hindustan Times - ‎8 hours ago‎

Currency counterfeiters appear to have started focusing more on the Rs. 100 and Rs. 1,000 denominations, even though the traditional favourite Rs.

Financial Express
Dish TV Offers 10 Per Cent Discount, Betting Big on 'Jan Dhan Yojana'
NDTV - ‎3 hours ago‎

New Delhi: Aimed at promoting government's ambitious financial inclusion scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana', direct-to-home services provider Dish TV will offer 10 per cent discount to subscribers paying their bill through RuPay-enabled cards.
DUSIB to provide sanitation, toilet facilities in slums
Business Standard - ‎3 hours ago‎

The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) today said it has decided to provide sanitation and toilet facilities to all slum dwellers in the national capital.

IBNLive
Dipping coal stocks at power plants may leave North in dark
Hindu Business Line - ‎2 hours ago‎

Power producers managed to generate more electricity and reduce supply deficit in the January-July period. But, whether they will be able to sustain the momentum remains to be seen, as a dip in coal stocks at thermal power plants is threatening to disrupt ...

NDTV
TCS, ICICI Bank, 3 Others Add Rs 31164 Crore in Market Value
NDTV - ‎8 hours ago‎

New Delhi: Five of the top 10 blue chip Sensex companies added Rs 31,164.67 crore to their combined market capitalisation in the week to August 28.

Economic Times
Reliance General Insurance guilty of 'unfair trade practices'; directed to pay...
Daily News & Analysis - ‎12 hours ago‎

Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd has been held guilty of "unfair trade practices" by a consumer forum here which directed it to pay around Rs 35,000 to a man for not giving complete claim amount of an insured car which had met with an accident.

Economic Times
Ministry denies accounting relief to select power companies
Hindu Business Line - ‎2 hours ago‎

Power sector companies unable to commence commercial production due to reasons beyond the developer's control are in for some disappointment.
BJP targets Bihar govt as under-construction bridge subsides in Muzaffarpur
Zee News - ‎22 hours ago‎

Muzaffarpur: Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad took on the Bihar government on Saturday after a 98-metre long under-construction bridge subsided here.