As the Indian Ocean re-emerges at the heart of global trade and becomes increasingly integrated with the Western Pacific, the Bay of Bengal is likely to emerge as a critical linkage between the two oceans.
New coalitions like India, Japan and Australia will still lack sufficient weight to balance China on their own. But in developing an agency of its own and taking a larger share of the burden of Asian security, the India-Japan-Australia coalition will send strong messages to both China and the United States.
India and Japan are using economic cooperation to advance their strategic interests and counterbalance Chinese influence in their neighborhood.
Going beyond bilateral commitments, India and Japan are now eager to collaborate on areas of common interest at the regional level.
There could be a lot of support in South Asia and in the Middle East for a more constructive, more positive Japanese role.
Facing China’s growing military power and Beijing’s increasingly assertive regional policy, Japan may have no option but to make marines a critical element of its new defense strategy.