March 11, 2011

Tsunami in Japan and India's Response

By Dr. Adityanjee

Source: http://councilforstrategicaffairs.blogspot.com/

Japan has faced the worst earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale. Even the after-shocks are of very high magnitude in the range of 5 to 6 on the Richter scale. This massive earthquake has brought a massive Tsunami in northeast Japan with more than one thousand people already dead. Five of Japan's nuclear reactors have been affected and two of them are already on fire. The final death toll is likely to run into thousands. The people of Japan need immediate help from the international community.

India has had friendly relations with Japan. Japan has been one of the investors in India's infrastructure growth and development. India and Japan are coordinating their efforts as part of the G4 nations to reform the UN Security Council. Both nations share historical, cultural and civlizational links. True, that Japan has been dragging its feet in signing a civil nuclear energy agreement with India on ideological grounds.

It is time that India rises to the occasion and helps the people of Japan in the time of their need. India has solid expereince carrying out an international relief mission during the Tsunami of 2006 in South East Asia. India's private sector needs to raise capital for the disaster struck people of Japan. Indian NGOs have a role to play. Indian citizens need to show solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in the time of their need. Government of India needs to announce the governmental relief measures immediately. Perhaps, a fiscal package for relief efforts in the range of one billion dollars should be immediately announced by the Prime Minister. India's armed forces have always proved their nettle in carrying out releif work. If Indian armed forces need to be despatched to Japan to carry out disaster relief, so be it. Surely, the Japanese government will welcome all the help including military from a friendly Asian nation with a track record in promoting international peace and amity. If Indian nucelar scientists and technicians from the BARC need to be sent to Japan urgently to assess, assist and rectify the situation on the nuclear reactors currently on fire, a wider nuclear calamity can be averted in Japan.

It will enhance India's internaitonal stature if we announce a multi-pronged relief package now and lead the rest of the world. It will extend our soft power in the international arena as well as in the Asian theatre. Japanese people will remember our immediate help in the future years to come.

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