Japan to suspend nuke cooperation if India tests

Japan to suspend nuke cooperation if India tests

"I appreciate efforts made by India toward nuclear non-proliferation and creating a nuclear free world," Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said.  "It was probably one of the toughest decisions I had to make as a foreign minister," Okada told reporters when asked about the launch of nuclear negotiations for an atomic pact between India and Japan.

Okada arrived here Saturday for talks that will also include the prospect of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries. India and Japan launched the first round of nuclear negotiations June 28-29 after a nod from Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Tokyo had supported New Delhi's bid to resume global nuclear commerce in the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group in September 2008. However, he said that atomic cooperation with India "will not run counter to our goal of creating a nuclear free world" and ruled out Japan engaging in nuclear cooperation with countries "who are not part of (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) NPT".

He added that if New Delhi were to test a nuclear device, Japan will have no choice but to suspend nuclear cooperation. "If such a thing were to happen, Japan will be forced to suspend nuclear cooperation," he said.

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