The recent G-20 Summit yielded not only immediate outcomes but also a significant long-term implication – the positioning of India as a vital bridge to the “Global South” for Japan and Western nations, according to Japanese experts.
In the eyes of these experts, there is a perceived rivalry for leadership of the Global South between India and China. From Japan’s perspective, it is in the best interests of both Japan and the Group of Seven (G-7) nations that India assumes a prominent role in the Global South, rather than China. This strategic perspective underscores Japan’s approach during its tenure as the G-7 Chair this year.
Hiroyuki Akita, a Tokyo-based strategic affairs commentator at Nikkei, articulated this viewpoint during an interview with The Hindu. He emphasized that Japan’s priority this year has been to collaborate with India as a bridge to bridge the gap on various issues between the G-7 and the G-11. The G-11 comprises the rest of the G-20 nations, excluding China and Russia, and is seen as a counterbalance to the G-7’s world order.
The strategy adopted by Japan and its Western allies focuses on identifying shared interests and common ground with India. This approach avoids potentially divisive issues related to “values” and instead centers on critical topics like transparency and sustainability in investments, addressing debt crises, and climate financing. These issues are expected to feature prominently in the G-20 outcomes.
India’s emergence as a bridge to the Global South reflects its growing influence on the international stage. With its large and diverse economy, India is positioned to play a pivotal role in shaping global policies and fostering collaboration between developed and developing nations.
As the world faces complex challenges ranging from economic recovery post-pandemic to climate change mitigation and sustainable development, India’s role as a bridge to the Global South becomes increasingly significant. It allows for the forging of partnerships and alliances that can address pressing global issues and promote a more inclusive and equitable international order.
The recognition of India’s strategic importance by Japan and other Western nations at the G-20 Summit signals a new phase in international diplomacy, where emerging economies like India are acknowledged as key actors in shaping the global agenda and fostering cooperation among nations with diverse interests and priorities.