A Successful Visit: Modi in Japan
By Salman Haidar - The Statesman
Developing close relations with Japan was from the start a priority task for independent India. Ties were badly damaged by the War but after hostilities ended India began to shape a vision of Asian solidarity that required early restoration of ties with Japan; the discredited imperial and colonial powers were on the way out and a new dispensation for Asia was in the making. Nehru’s India took some imaginative steps in this direction, one of the most striking being refusal to demand war reparations from Japan, unlike other combatant nations which extracted what they could from the prostrate Japanese empire. This important gesture elicited a warm response, and to symbolize the new era Japan made a handsome gift to India of a fine house in a choice quarter of Tokyo to serve as the official residence of the newly appointed Ambassador. This remains the Indian Embassy even today, and as Japan restored its fortunes and property values in Tokyo went through the ceiling, that early gift has become immensely valuable.