Japan, India set to resume talks on nuclear energy agreement

May 20, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Japan and India are set to resume official negotiations on a nuclear energy agreement, which were suspended after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his counterpart, Manmohan Singh, are expected to include the policy to reopen talks on the agreement, a precondition for exporting nuclear-related technologies, in a joint statement at a summit meeting in Tokyo on May 29.

At a summit meeting in December 2011, the two countries confirmed they will make efforts to conclude a nuclear energy agreement, but only informal discussions have been held.

Japanese industry has been calling on the government to resume official negotiations so that Japanese-made nuclear reactors can be sold to India.

India is building five reactors and plans 18 more, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Abe is eager to conclude a nuclear energy agreement to strengthen relations with India and promote Japanese industry.

According to the sources, the government is considering including such expressions as “early conclusion of a nuclear energy agreement” in the joint statement.

Three rounds of official negotiations were held since 2010 before they were suspended due to the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

In Japan, the only nation where atomic bombs have been dropped on the populace, concerns remain about providing nuclear-related technologies to India, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In 2010, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, of the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan government, suggested that Japan would suspend cooperation if India conducted a nuclear test.

He said India’s nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation policy, such as ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, would be an important condition for a bilateral nuclear energy agreement.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, shakes hands with then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after their meeting in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2007. (Pool)

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, shakes hands with then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after their meeting in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2007. (Pool)

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  • Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, shakes hands with then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after their meeting in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2007. (Pool)

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