India, Japan to resume talks on civil nuclear pact

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

After a gap of about three years, India and Japan will resume their negotiations on the civil nuclear pact in Tokyo tomorrow.

Officials, directed by their respective leaders to accelerate negotiations towards an early conclusion, are meeting for the fourth round.

Launched in 2010, the nuclear energy negotiations have been on hold since the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011. The last round was held in November 2010.

The fourth round comes nearly three months after the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in May where they decided to direct their officials to “accelerate the negotiations of an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy towards an early conclusion’’.

The Indian side will be led by Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and includes Venkatesh Varma, Joint Secretary (Disarmament), apart from officials of the Department of Atomic Energy.

The Japanese team will be lead by Makita Shimokawa, Deputy Director-General, Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department, and Special Representative in charge of Japan-India Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will include officials concerned from relevant ministries.

During their meeting, Singh and Abe had reaffirmed the importance of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries while recognising that nuclear safety is a priority for both the governments.

Significantly, the joint statement, issued after the May meeting, did not carry any reference to India signing the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a precondition for Japan to consider civil nuclear cooperation.

With increasing demand in energy starved India, Japanese giants like Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are eyeing the Indian market to export nuclear reactors and technology.

Published on September 02, 2013

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