India, Japan to sign nuclear cooperation pact in November: report
TOKYO: Japan and India are likely to sign a civil nuclear cooperation pact during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan scheduled to take place in mid-November, the Mainichi newspaper reported on Saturday.
The governments of Asia’s second-and third-largest economies are leaning toward holding a summit meeting between Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the report said, citing unidentified diplomatic sources from both nations.
The signing of the civil nuclear cooperation pact will be a first for Japan and will allow the country to export nuclear power plant technology to India.
Last December the two leaders reached a basic agreement for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but they stopped short of signing the agreement, citing outstanding technical and legal differences.
Japan is the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack and has been demanding additional non-proliferation guarantees from India, which has a nuclear weapons program, before exporting nuclear reactors.
India and Japan have been negotiating the nuclear energy deal since Japan’s ally, the United States, opened the way for nuclear commerce with India, which has shunned the global Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In order to ensure that India will refrain from using the nuclear technology for military purposes, the two countries agreed during the working level negotiations that Japan would halt cooperation immediately if India conducted a nuclear test, the report added.
A final deal with Japan would benefit US firms.
India has already given land for nuclear plants to GE-Hitachi — which is an alliance between the US and Japanese firms — and to Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Company.
Modi’s upcoming visit to Japan will be his first since August 2014.