Thursday, October 10, 2013
Japan, India OK To Speed Up Talks On Nuclear Cooperation Pact
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Kyodo)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed Thursday to speed up negotiations aimed at concluding a bilateral nuclear cooperation pact, a Japanese official said.
The agreement during their meeting on the sidelines of summits related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei was made bearing in mind Japan's export of nuclear technology to India.
Prior to any export of such technology from Japan to India, a civil nuclear cooperation pact must be forged between the two nations. The pact sets a legal framework for the peaceful use of atomic-power technology.
India is a de facto nuclear weapons state that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
When Abe and Singh met in May, they agreed to resume the bilateral negotiations on the nuclear cooperation deal that were halted in the wake of the March 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The two leaders also reaffirmed the promotion of discussions on exporting to India US-2 amphibious aircraft used by Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force and implement joint maritime drills between the MSDF and Indian Navy, the official said.
They agreed as well to expand their economic ties, with Japan vowing to support India's development of a high-speed railway and other infrastructure needs.
Abe was also quoted by the official as asking Singh for India to help make the visit by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to the country from late November to early December a memorable one, to which Singh said India will do the best it can.