Bangladesh and Japan is now tied up with new strategic partnership

BTJ Desk Report
Bangladesh and Japan is now tied up with new strategic partnership

One of the top diplomatic developments recently been seen by the World, is the most talked-about bilateral ties between Bangladesh and Japan, formed on April 26, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan’s capital. Existing relationship between the two nations reached a new level with newly signed memorandum of understanding which was revealed through their joint statement.

Japan has been a well trusted partner for Bangladesh since 1972. It had been constantly given their helping hands to Bangladesh for its economic and social development, supplying financial and technical supports for Bangladesh’s infrastructure development, including constructions of highway, airports, seaports etc. Third terminal of Dhaka international Airport, Matarbari deep sea port, Araihazar special economic zone are a few that is being built with direct Japanese participation. For the first time, in fiscal year 2021-2022, two-way bilateral trade exceeded 4 billion USD.

Last month, on April 26th, as both the nations referred this new cooperation as ‘strategic partnership’ despite they had referred it previously as “comprehensive partnership”. Both side’s leaders had signed the MoU, based on Japan’s long-standing, trustworthy and dependable relationship with Bangladesh.

Both the partners will work together through partnership and mutual cooperation in the field of innovation, research, human resource development, the digital economy, digital literacy, cyber security, information sharing, fourth industrial revolution and latest technology etc.

The rise of China as a superpower, the conflict between Russia and the USA along with their western alliances on context of Ukraine and the geopolitical unrest in the Indo-Pacific region have all the reasons to the current global polarization. By expressing this approach, Bangladesh has effectively joined the US and the European power rings and counterbalancing the other rings lead by China.

Japan had no right to go to war according to the constitution made by United States in 1947 but due to China’s hegemonic actions in China Sea, they had changed their constitution in 1994. This amendment had changed the ability to declare war or forming strategic partnership with other countries. Japan had already started focusing on increasing their military power. In recent years, Japan had prioritized military preparations, arms productions and sale of weapons as well military cooperation with other countries. Japan has adopted another strategic stance in the group of QUAD including its other allies, the USA, Australia and India in order to counter China’s assertive actions in China Sea.

It is to be said that western powers including Japan consider Russia and China as threats to their security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific region. To be mentioned that Bangladesh has secured a promise to get support on ‘Rohingya’ issue through supporting Japan’s global foreign policy and diplomacy. Additionally, Bangladesh indirectly sought moral support from Japan against potential aggressive activities by any parties in the Bay of Bengal, a sea area including Indo-Pacific region. The development of infrastructural and technological advancement will surely help Bangladesh to achieve more industrial production through these better communication infrastructures as the location of Bangladesh is like a crossroad between South Asia and South-East Asia.

The current situation in relation between Japan and Bangladesh is a result of the Big-B policy that was agreed upon between the nations ten years back. To be noted that in May 2014, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to implement the Big-B policy, under Japan has pledged to cooperate in creating an industrial value chain and a resilient supply chain in Bangladesh.

One thing is quite clear that the joint statement made by this two countries: Bangladesh and Japan have progressively built a military partnership while making concessions in terms of technology, culture and economy. Bangladesh’s strategic dependence on other major powers will be reduced if this far-reaching strategic partnership is successful.

Photo Courtesy by The Daily Star.


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