The Indian strategic community ~ by which is meant domain specialists and not the ‘generalist’ bureaucrats thrown up by an outdated Union Public Service Commission examination who have limited value in policymaking ~ could learn a thing or two from their counterparts in Japan. In the evolution of Japan’s security policy, proposals and working papers from non-government institutions including academic institutions and think-tanks have not only been welcomed by government, unlike in India where a moribund civil service is busy protecting its turf, but their acceptance and implementation have proven instrumental in the development of a cohesive strategic vision for that country. Over the past 25-odd years, the slow but steady progress of Tokyo’s defence and security policy in a pragmatic and proactive direction towards becoming a “normal country” through “passive realism,” writes Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, in a recent article, is in large part due to think-tanks’ policy recommendations and the government’s realisation of them since 1995. (Read More)
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