India confident of inking civilian nuclear deal with Japan: PM

Last Updated 24 October 2010, 09:01 IST

"I am confident that we will be able to conclude an agreement (on nuclear deal), which will be a win-win proposition for both of us. We have not laid down any deadline for concluding these negotiations," Singh said shortly ahead of his two-day visit here beginning today.

Asserting that India has an "impeccable" record on non-proliferation, he told the Japanese media that his country is committed to maintaining a "unilateral and voluntary" moratorium on explosive nuclear testing and has "no intention" of revising that commitment.

"We are ready to work with Japan and other like-minded countries in realising the vision of a nuclear weapon-free world," Singh was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

There is reluctance in Japan, the only country to have witnessed a massive atomic attack, to proceed with the civilian nuclear deal with India because New Delhi is not part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). So far, the two countries have held two rounds of negotiations on the issue.

Singh, who will meet his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan and other top leaders here, said that India would like Japan to be its partner in nuclear energy in view of the advanced capabilities of Japanese firms in the nuclear field and the important role they play in the global supply chain.

The Prime Minister will hold talks with Kan on a range of issues, including civil nuclear energy cooperation, security cooperation and ways to enhance economic ties besides joint infrastructure projects being carried out in India.

During his visit, an announcement will be made on conclusion of negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Singh said CEPA would open up the fast-expanding Indian market to Japanese firms and facilitate the flow of Japanese investment in India's growing infrastructure.
He also sees an "enormous" possibility for India, Japan and China to work together for the prosperity of Asia.

Asked to comment on the maritime dispute between Japan and China in the East China Sea, Singh said interstate relations must be based on five principles of peaceful coexistence.

"In this context, we also approach our relations with China, with whom we have established a strategic and cooperative partnership," Singh said.

Outlining fields of cooperation, Singh said India and Japan can cooperate in areas of civilian nuclear energy, clean coal technology, renewable energy resources and infrastructure, among others, as the "two friendly nations" have multifaceted relations.

(Published 24 October 2010, 09:01 IST)

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