The sea lanes of communication through the Indian Ocean are logistic arteries that sustain the world economy, hence it is crucial to secure stability in this region. However, many countries in the region are politically unstable, and there is no regional framework like ASEAN. Although we are not currently seeing any major conflicts at sea in the Indian Ocean Region, many countries outside the region are trying to encroach into the area for economic profit. This trend will have a significant impact on the region’s security environment in the near future. Urgent action is required for the stability of the region, therefore the Sasakawa Peace Foundation has begun a project aimed at formulating policy recommendations through dialogue between Australia, India, the United States and Japan. As part of this project, international conferences will be held in India in fiscal 2016 and in Tokyo in fiscal 2017.
International Conference on Security of the Indian Ocean Region
With the backing of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the “International Conference on Security of the Indian Ocean Region” was held at Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi on February 6 and 7, 2017. Dr. Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australian National University, Ambassador Sibal, the former Foreign Secretary of India, Admiral Blair, Chairman of Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, Ambassador Enoki, former Japanese Ambassador to India and Mr. Tanaka, Chairman of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation participated in the conference, where experts gave presentations on six topics, namely, regional economy, energy security, shipping, infrastructure, traditional/non-traditional security, and China. From Japan, Professor Kojima of Takushoku University and Professor Arima of Tokyo University gave presentations on regional economy and energy security, respectively. Also present were individuals from the Indian diplomatic circle including former ambassadors, the Indian navy, and academia. At the conference, a number of lively discussions took place based on the experts’ presentations.