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India, Japan look for nuclear deal, despite NPT
May 30, 2013, 9:33 am


India has maintained that it sees regimes like the NPT and CTBT as discriminatory [AP]

Prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe singed a joint statement directing officials of their countries to “accelerate” the negotiations of an Agreement on Nuclear Energy.

“On civil nuclear cooperation, negotiation will be accelerated toward the early conclusion of the agreement,” Mr Abe said.

India has, however, not signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) stating it cannot accept the “externally prescribed norms or standards” on issues that are contrary to its national interests or infringe on its sovereignty.

Japan which has been a victim of nuclear attacks, is a strident supporter of the NPT.

The influential Japanese daily, the Asahi Shimbun, has said that a nuclear cooperation agreement between Japan and India would further undermine the effectiveness and relevance of the NPT system.

“Before negotiating such a deal, Tokyo should ask New Delhi to become a party to the NPT and sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),” said an editorial published during Singh’s visit.

India has maintained that it sees regimes like the NPT and CTBT as discriminatory.

Many Indian analysts however believe that the Indo-Japan nuclear cooperation is not to counter China’s growing influence as speculated by international media.

“Any nuclear agreement with Japan would only seek to boost India’s energy needs as India tries to be self-sufficient in power generation and reduce its dependence on oil. This should not be viewed through the prism of countering China, although Western analysts seem to be obsessed with China’s rise,” Saeed Naqvi, senior Indian editor and foreign policy analyst told The BRICS Post.

India hopes to lift its nuclear capacity to 63,000 MW by 2032.

The two nations also decided to hold the 1st India-Japan Consultation on UN Issues, including United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms.

Singh and Abe have also decided to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore modalities for the cooperation on the US-2 amphibious aircraft.

Japan has extended a development assistance loan of 71 billion yen for a Metro project in India’s business capital of Mumbai and a loan totalling 353.106 billion yen for eight projects.

Briefing the Indian media, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said the summit took India-Japan relations to a new level.

Singh, who arrived in Tokyo on Monday on a three-day visit, said “A stronger commercial partnership between our two countries should be the corner stone of our relationship.” 

The BRICS Post