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2014年5月20日 (火)

インド政権交代 変化求める声にどう応えるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:13 pm, May 19, 2014
After historic election, Modi’s India must play a key role in global affairs
インド政権交代 変化求める声にどう応えるか

Dissatisfied with corrupt politics and an economy that has lost its luster, Indian voters hungry for change have

brought about the first transfer of government in 10 years.

India’s largest opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, captured a majority of the seats in the lower house of the

country’s parliament, delivering a stunning victory over the ruling Congress party.

Narendra Modi of the BJP is set to be inaugurated as prime minister shortly. Of India’s more than 800 million eligible

voters, a record 66.4 percent made their way to polls, a sign that the people had high hopes for the birth of a new



Economic policy was the focal point of the election, as India’s high-flying economy has drastically slowed to a growth

rate hovering in the 4-percent range in recent months. Both the middle class as well as poor farming communities,

who were discontent with serious inflation and a huge economic disparity, opted to support the BJP and the economic

reforms it has championed.


Modi pledged to carry out a bold economic growth strategy and spend a huge proportion of the budget on

developing that country’s infrastructure.

While serving as chief minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Modi was successful in reconstructing his state’s

economy by attracting investment from Japan and other countries with deregulation and infrastructure

improvements. Voters apparently entrusted Modi with India’s future, demonstrating faith in his political visions and his

ability to carry out effective policies.


A string of corruption scandals that have surfaced in recent times, including one that led to the resignation of a

Cabinet minister, certainly furnished a tailwind for the BJP in its impressive victory.

Religious clash must be prevented

Modi’s reputation as a Hindu supremacist, however, is worrisome. There are lingering criticisms that he failed to take

appropriate steps to deal with the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat while he was the state’s chief minister.


India has more than 100 million Muslims. It is imperative for Modi to tread carefully to avoid further intensifying

religious confrontation in the country. Inviting an inter-faith clash would not only deteriorate Indian relations with the

neighboring Islamic state of Pakistan, but could trigger instability in surrounding areas as well.


India has maintained cooperative relations with Japan and the United States, two nations with which it shares the

core values of democracy and rule of law, while at the same time exerting influence on China and Russia as an

emerging economy.


In March, Modi said that China, which shares a border with India, should abandon its “expansionary mindset.” India

has an extremely important role to play as a check on a China that is trying to leverage its might to change the status

quo by force. It is hoped that Modi will proactively take on the task of ensuring stability in the region and in the

broader world.


Japan and India have deepened bilateral ties both politically and economically through mutual visits by their

respective leaders every year.

During his visit to India in January, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart reached agreement on

security cooperation, including the continuation of joint drills between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian

Navy. A nuclear accord, which would enable Japan to export nuclear power generation technology to India, is

currently in negotiations.


We hope Modi will work to elevate the bilateral cooperative ties to new levels.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2014)


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