India and Japan seek early agreement on nuclear deal

India and Japan seek early agreement on nuclear deal

 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Wednesday decided to accelerate talks on a civil nuclear deal to allow Japan to export nuclear reactors to India and to bolster maritime security cooperation at a time when China’s postures in the seas of the region have caused concerns.

A joint statement issued at the end of exhaustive talks between Singh and Abe said the two prime ministers reaffirmed the importance of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries, while recognising that nuclear safety is a priority for both governments.

“In this context, they directed their officials to accelerate the negotiations of an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy towards an early conclusion,” it said.

“Everything is linked to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),”  said Cabinet Secretariat Councillor Tomohiko Taniguchi on being asked whether India inking the NPT is linked with progress on the civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

Japan is the only country in the world to have faced nuclear attacks. Negotiations for the civil nuclear cooperation agreement have not made much headway since Japan was struck by Fukushima nuclear disaster in March  2011.

While Japan has backed the Indo-US nuclear deal and the exemptions given to India from international technology sanctions, successive governments in Tokyo have found the going tough in garnering political support for it in the face of stiff opposition from the non-proliferation lobby here. India and Japan also welcomed the expanding bilateral defence ties.

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