Asia:Eastern and South-Eastern Island groups

Recent Issues:

  • Japan Information and Study center has been set at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA).The centre is an attempt to cement the Indo-Japanese relationship.
  • Japan is working closely on India’s infrastructure development projects such as DMIC.
  • PM of India visited Japan.
  • MOU signed to transfrom Varanasi into a smart city on line of the Kyoto city
  • Japan pledged to invest Rs. 2.1 lakh crore ($35.5 billion) in a wide spectrum of projects in India over five years,include infrastructure , clean energy,skill development
  • Also to double the number of Japanese companies operating in India in five years.
  • Japan expressd its readiness to provide financial,technical and operational support to introduce the Shinkansen, or bullet train, along the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route.
  • Japan also supported India’s entry as a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • The Stratergic and Global Patnership is turned into Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.

Physical Geograhpy:East Asian Islands:

  • Along the Coast of East Asia, many penninsulas and islands dot the Westernmost Pacific Ocean.
  • Mostly divide the ocean into smaller bodies of water ,including Yellow sea, the Sea of Japan,East China Sea,South China Sea.
  • The South China sea stretches from the Island of Taiwan to the Philippines and the peninsula of Southeast Asia , carries 1\3rd of the world’s shipping traffic.


  • Japan is a stratovolcanicarchipelago of 6,852 islands.
  • Four large , mountainous islands and thousands of smaller ones form the archipelago or island chain , of Japan.
  • Honsu is the central and largest island, with Hokkaido to the north and Kyushu and Shikoku to the south.
  • Most of Japan’s major cities are on Honshu.
  • Surrounding Japan are the Sea of Okhotsk on the north, the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea on the west and the Philippine Sea on the South .On the east and South-east is the Pacific Ocean.
  • The country, including all of the islands it controls, lies between latitudes 24° and 46°N, and longitudes 122° and 146°E.
  • About 73 percent of Japan is forested, mountainous, and unsuitable for agriculturalindustrial, or residentialThus, habitable zones , mainly located in coastal areas and are extremely populated.
  • Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Natural Calamities that Occur:

  • The islands of Japan are located in a volcaniczone on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • These islands are formed as a result of subduction  of the Philippine Sea Platebeneath the continental Amurian Plate and Okinawa Plate to the south and subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Okhotsk Plate to the north.
  • Japan has 108 active volcanoes.Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunami, occur several times each century.
  • The 1923 Tokyo earthquakekilled over 140,000 people.
  • Recent earthquakes are the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
  • Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire,Japan is frequently prone to earthquake and tsunami , having the highest natural disaster risk in the developed world.



  • From 1868,Japan began to expand ecoomically after embracing market economy.
  • Many of today’s enterprises were founded at the time, and Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia
  • As of 2012, Japan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP.


  • Japan has a large industrial capacity, and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers.
  • Its mainly produces motor vehicles, electronicsmachine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods
  • Agricultural businesses in Japan cultivate 13 percent of Japan’s land,
  • Japan accounts for nearly 15 percent of the global fish catch, second only to China.
  • Japan’s main export markets were China , the United States , South Korea , Thailand and Hong Kong .
  • Its main exports are transportation equipment, motor vehicles, electronics, electrical machinery and chemicals
  • Japan has a low unemployment rateof around four percent.
  • Some 20 million people, around 17 per cent of the population, were below the poverty line in 2007.


Science and technology

  • Japan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly technology, machinery and biomedical research.
  • It has the third largest budget in the world.
  • Some of Japan’s more prominent technological contributions are in the fields of electronics, automobiles, machinery, earthquake engineeringindustrial roboticsoptics, chemicals, semiconductorsand metals.
  • leads the world in roboticsproduction and use, possessing more than 20% (300,000 of 1.3 million) of the world’s industrial robots as of 2013[
  • 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


  • Japan’s population is estimated at around 127.1 million,[2]with 80% of the population living on Honshū
  • Japanese society is linguistically and culturally homogeneous,composed of 98.5% ethnic Japanese, with small populations of foreign workers.
  • 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
  • In 2011, Japan’s population dropped for a fifth year, falling by 204,000 people to 126.24 million people.
  • Japan’s population is expected to drop to 95 million by 2050,demographers and government planners are currently in a heated debate over how to cope with this problem
  • Immigration and birth incentives are sometimes suggested as a solution to provide younger workers to support the nation’s aging population


  • Japan enjoys full religious freedom based on Article 20 of its Constitution.
  • Major religion followed is Buddhism or Shinto .

India and Japan relations:

  • The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilizational ties.
  • Throughout the various phases of history since civilizational contacts between India and Japan began some 1400 years ago, the two countries have never been adversaries
  • Bilateral ties have been singularly free of any kind of dispute – ideological, cultural or Territorial.
  • The relationship is unique and one of mutual respect manifested in generous gestures and sentiments, and of standing by each other at times of need.
  • The momentum of bilateral ties, however, was not quite sustained as per expectations in the following decades.
  • The beginning of the 21st Century witnessed a dramatic transformation in bilateral ties.
  • in 2000, the Japan-India Global Partnership in the 21st Century was launched providing the much-needed impetus for the trajectory of relations to soar to new heights.
  • The Global Partnership formed the foundation for the strengthening ties in diverse fields, including identifying strategic convergences
  • Japanese companies, such as SonyToyota, and Honda, have manufacturing facilities in India, and with the growth of the Indian economy, India is a big market for Japanese firms.
  • Japanese firms in fact, were some of the first firms to invest in India.
  • In December 2006, Indian Prime MinisterManmohan Singh‘s visit to Japan culminated in the signing of the “Joint Statement Towards Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership”
  • Japan has helped finance many infrastructure projects in India, most notably the Delhi Metro
  • in the year 2007, the Japanese Self-Defence Forces and the Indian Navy took part in a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean, known as Malabar 2007, which also involved the naval forces of AustraliaSingapore and the United States.

Historical relations

  • Cultural exchanges between Indiaand Japan began early in the 6th century with the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from India.
  • The Indian monkBodhisena arrived in Japan in 736 to spread Buddhism and performed eye-opening of the Great Buddha built in Tōdai-ji,
  • Buddhism and the intrinsically linked Indian culturehad a great impact on Japanese culture, still felt today, and resulted in a natural sense of amicability between the two nations

Economic Relations

  • Japan is currently India’s fourth largest source of foreign direct investment;
  • trade and economic patnreship has underperformed
  • Bilateral trade at 16.29 billion dollars 2013-14 forming 2.13% of India’s total trade and 1% of Japan’s
  • Low profile trade esp since Japan has to offer in terms of investment and technology both of which India needs
  • Japanese ODA (Official Development Assistance) India is the largest recipients
  • In terms of FDI in India Japan ranks low and well behind China and accounts 7.46 per cent of total FDI inflows into India


Geography of Taiwan

  • is an island in East Asia;
  • it is located some 180 kilometres (112 miles) off the southeastern coast of Chinaacross the Taiwan Strait
  • has an area of 35,883 km2 (13,855 sq mi) and spans the Tropic of Cancer.
  • TheEast China Sealies to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest.
  • Taiwan Island makes up 99% of the territory of the Republic of China (ROC),
  • Taiwan is a tilted fault blockcharacterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting mostly of five rugged mountain ranges parallel to the east coast
  • There are six peaks over 3500 meters, the highest being Yu Shanat 3,952 metres (12,966 ft)
  • Taiwan the world’s fourth-highest island.
  • The tectonic boundary that formed these ranges is still active, and the island experiences many earthquakes, a few of them highly destructive
  • There are also many active submarine volcanoesin the Taiwan Straits.
  • The climate ranges from tropicalin the south to subtropical in the north, and is governed by the East Asian Monsoon
  • The island is struck by an average of four typhoonsin each year
  • The eastern mountains are heavily forested and home to a diverse range of wildlife, while land use in the western and northern lowlands is intensive

Economy and industry


  • The cultures of Taiwan are a hybrid blend of various sources, incorporating elements of traditional Chinese culture, attributable to the historical and ancestry origin of the majority of its current residents, Japanese culture, traditional Confucianist beliefs, and increasingly Western values.

India–Taiwan relations

  • The bilateral relations between Indiaand Taiwan (Republic of China) have improved since the 1990s despite both nations not maintaining official diplomatic relations.
  • India’s economic & Commercial links as well as people-to-people contacts with Taiwan have expanded in recent years.
  • As a part of its “Look East” foreign policy, India has sought to cultivate extensive ties with Taiwan in trade and investment as well as developing co-operation in science & technology, environment issues and people-to-people exchanges
  • The India-Taipei Association ITAhas been established in Taipei since 1995  to promote non-governmental interactions between India and Taiwan
  • ITA also facilitates business, tourism, scientific, cultural and people-to-people exchanges
    The Taipei Economic & Cultural Centre in New Delhi is ITA’s counterpart organisation in India
  • In 2002, the two sides signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement and are discussing the possibility of entering into agreements related to Double Taxation Avoidance and ATA Carnet to facilitate participation in each other’s trade fairs

Cultural exchanges

  • While the ROC and India are two of Asia’s leading democracies, both with fairly close ties to the United Statesand Europe, both sides continue to lack formal diplomatic relations. However, the two governments maintain unofficial ties with each other.
  • According to some sources, Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion in Taiwan, usually alongside elements of Daoism, and Bollywoodfilms have in recent years gained a reasonably popular following, along with other aspects of Indian culture such as yogacuisine and Indian dance.

Southeast Asia

  • vast regionof Asia situated east of the Indian subcontinent and south of China.
  • It consists of two dissimilar portions: a continental projection (commonly called mainland Southeast Asia) and a string of archipelagoes to the south and east of the mainland (insular Southeast Asia).
  • Characteristic of insular (or archipelagic) Southeast Asia are the chains of islands—the Malayand Philippine archipelagoes
  • Earthquakes and volcanic activity are quite common along the entire southern and eastern margin
  • One consequence of the seismic activity is that a large number of lakes are found in the region.
  • The countries in this region include Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, East Timor, and the Philippines.
  • The physical geography varies from island to island; some have high mountain relief and others are low-lying and relatively flat.
  • Active tectonic plate action in the region causes earthquakes and volcanic activity, resulting in destruction of infrastructure and loss of life; both acutely impact human activities.
  • Tectonic plate activity has been responsible for the existence of the many islands and has created the mountainous terrain of the various countries
  • High mountain ranges can have peaks that reach elevations of over fifteen thousand feet.
  • The island of Borneo, in the center of the insular region, is actually a segment of ancient rock that has been pushed upward by tectonic forces to form a mountainous land mass.
  • The mountains on Borneo have been worn down over time by erosion.
  • The physical geography of the mainland and the insular region is dominated by a tropical type A climate. Cooler temperatures may be found in the mountainous regions and more even temperatures ranges can be found along the coasts.
  • Tectonic plate activity is responsible for the many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that occur in the realm.



  • Southeast Asia was colonized by Europeans and later by Japan.
  • Southeast Asia has a population of more than six hundred million people more than half the population lives on the many islands of Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • Southeast Asia is ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. A number of major ethnic groups dominate in the mainland and insular region but are only examples of the multitude of smaller groups that exist in the realm. One minority group is the overseas Chinese, who immigrated to the realm during the colonial era.
  • The small island of Java in Indonesia is one of the most densely populated places on Earth.
  • The island of Luzon in the Philippines is also one of the more densely populated areas of the insular region
  • The ethnic mosaic of Southeast Asia is a result of the emergence of local differences between people that have evolved into identifiable cultural or ethnic groups
  • Many distinct groups can exist on the many islands of the region.
  • The large number of ethnic groups is dominated by Indonesians, Malays, and Filipinos, coinciding with the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
  • Indonesia is also home to the largest Muslim population in the world.
  • About 95 percent of the people in Thailand and more than 60 percent of the people in Laos are Buddhist.
  • Hinduism is present in the Indonesian island of Bali and in various other locations in the region.



  • Malaysia is a country made up of various British colonies that came together as a federation and then became an independent country
  • The two main areas include the western colonies on the Malay Peninsula and the eastern colonies on the island of Borneo.
  • Malaysia has two main land areas separated by the South China Sea. The regions of Sarawak and Sabah, on the island of Borneo, are called East Malaysia;
  • the mainland on the Malay Peninsula is called West Malaysia.

Diversity of Culture and Ethnicity in Malaysia

  • Malaysia’s culture is diverse in that several major religions are practiced within its borders.
  • Islam is considered the official language.
  • Buddhists,christians and Hindu do constitute the the Malaysia.
  • During British colonialism, a number of people from South Asia were brought to Malaysia.
  • For example, Tamils were brought from India to work the plantations.
  • . Their Hindu beliefs were infused into the culture and some Tamils also converted to Christianity.
  • Sikhs were brought from South Asia to help Britain run the country as police, soldiers, or security officers.
  • The Sikhs who came brought their religion with them, which added to the multireligious dynamics of the country.


  • Malaysia has rapidly advanced its economy in recent decades and is modernizing its infrastructure—roads, bridges, highways, and urban facilities.


  • Singapore is similar to Hong Kong in its development.
  • With a good port, Singapore is a hub for ships sailing between Europe and China.
  • It serves Southeast Asia as anentrepôt, or break-of-bulk point, where goods are offloaded from large ships and transported to smaller vessels for distribution to the Southeast Asian community.
  • Singapore has made good strategic utilization of its geographic location by serving as a distribution center for goods and materials processed in the region.
  • Crude oil from Indonesia is unloaded and refined here.
  • Raw materials are shipped in, manufactured into finished products, and then shipped out to global markets
  • Singapore Island is a swampy place with no natural resources
  • All production components, food goods, construction materials, and energy must be imported.
  • Importing everything has raised the cost of living


  • The country of Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago state, consisting of more than 17,500 islands, about one-third of which are inhabited.
  • Indonesia is the sixteenth-largest country in the world by area
  • The tropical climate and the archipelago nature of the country provide for enormous biodiversity within the environment.
  • Second only to Brazil in its biodiversity, Indonesia is host to an enormous number of unique plants and animals.
  • The habitats of many of these creatures are being encroached upon by human activity.
  • In 2010, the estimated population of Indonesia was about 245 million. Indonesia has the fourth-largest population of any country in the world
  • Agriculture has been the historic base of the Indonesian economy and also the largest employment sector.


  • Bordered by Sarawak, the sultanate is actually two small separate regions along the coast of the South China Sea.
  • A major oil and natural gas exporter
  • It provides a high standard of living for its small population.
  • It is called a sultanate because the kingdom has been ruled by sultans (rulers) from the same family for the past six centuries.
  • Brunei is an Islamic State with Islam as its state religion. About two-thirds of the population is Muslim
  • Buddhism is the second-most popular religion.

The Philippines

  • Located on the eastern side of the Southeast Asian community is the archipelago state of the Philippines.
  • The islands of the Philippines are of volcanic origin and have numerous  active volcano.
  • They are mainly mountainous and covered in tropical rainforest.
  • The highest mountain, at 9,692 feet, is Mt. Apo, which is located on the southern island of Mindanao
  • The Philippines can be divided into three main geopolitical regions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
  • South East Asia and India
  • From prehistoric days, India has trade relations with South East Asia
  • India sent its traders and missionaries to these regions and in some places these persons also settled.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is apolitical and economic organisation of ten countries located in South East Asia
  • Its aims include accelerating economic growthsocial progresssociocultural evolutionamong its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully
  • The Look East policy a multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach to establish strategic links with as many individual countries as possible, evolve closer
  • political links with ASEAN, and develop strong economic bonds with the Region
  • Second, it was an attempt to carve a place for India in the larger Asia Pacific.
  • Third, the Look East policy was also meant to showcase India’s economic potential for investments and trade.
  • A number of institutional mechanisms have been put in place to promote economic exchanges both at the governmental as well as private sector level
  • The ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee and an ASEAN-India Working Group on Trade and Investment were set up along with the creation of an ASEAN-India Fund to promote trade, tourism, science and technology, and other economic activity.

Recent News

  • India to draft 5-year plan of action to deepen ties with ASEAN
  • India and the ASEAN have already implemented a free trade agreement in goods and are set to widen its base and include services and investments. The India-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement was signed in August 2009 and it came into force on January 1, 2010.
  • The bilateral trade grew by 4.6 per cent from $68.4 billion in 2011 to $71.6 billion in 2012.
  • ASEAN’s exports were valued at $43.84 billion and imports from India amounted to $27.72 billion in 2012.
  • The target has been set at $100 billion by 2015 for ASEAN-India trade.

India’s Impact on Southeast Asia

  • Southeast Asia which can boast of such magnificent temple cities as Pagan (Burma; constructed from 1044 to 1287 AD,) Angkor (Combodia; constructed from 889 to c. 1300 AD), and the Borobudur (Java, early ninth century AD).
  • Though they were influenced by Indian culture, they are nevertheless part and parcel of the history of those respective countries.
  • Historians have formulated several theories regarding the transmission of Indian culture of Southeast Asia :
  • the ‘Kshatriya’ theory;
    (2) the ‘Vaishya’ theory;
    (3) the ‘Brahmin’ theory.



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