After the world war second in 1849 the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru donated two Indian elephants to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. It was a unique friendly gesture which unequivocally promised hope for a strong relationship between the two countries. This brought a glimmer of hope into the lives of the Japanese people who still had not recovered from defeat in the war. Japan and India linked a peace agreement and established diplomatic relations in April 1952, which was one of the first peace agreements Japan signed after the World war. Indias iron ore played a significant role in aiding Japans recovery efforts. After Japanese Prime minister Nobusuke Kishis path breaking visit to India in 1957, the country started providing yen loan to India.
There is hearsay on whether or not China has been a factor in the promising strategic relationship between India and Japan. Unfortunately, there has not been a regular flow of people between India and Japan. Japanese came to India mainly as businessmen tourist. However, a host of factors have led to a change in the way India and Japan perceive each other. These include factors like the slowdown of the Japanese economy, the rise of China, the growing economic and military might of India and a desire to move away from dependence on the security umbrella.
Japan is heavily dependent on energy supplies from Middle East and the safety of seal lanes of communication (SLOC) are a vital security interest. Given this scenario, Japan is in need of Indias support to keep its SLOCs safe. Maritime cooperation is one of the promising areas between India and Japan.
India and Japan have been conducting annual foreign office consultation at the Foreign Secretary level. The Security Dialogue between the two countries started in 2110. High level exchange is continuing between the defense authorities. From Japan, Chief of Ground SDF (2006) and General Yoshida, Chief of Air SDF (April 2006) visited India. From India, Admiral Prakash, Chief of Naval Staff, visited Japan in 2005. Defense Minister of India, Mr. Mukharjee, visited Japan in May 2006 and joint Statement was issued to promote defense exchanges. In September 2007, Maritime SDF joined in the Malabar 07-2 which was hosted by India.
These moves had both political and economic interests inherently attached to them. The things were moving in the right direction to generate a conducive environment for better trade relationship.
http://www.made-from-india.com/article/India-Japan-Trade-Relations-A-historical-Perspective-830.html SABUNG AYAM