India and Japan to ink civil nuclear cooperation deal

07 November 2016, 11:39 AM
Indian PM Narendra Modi with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - File Photo
Indian PM Narendra Modi with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Japan shall witness India and Japan signing a historic civil nuclear cooperation deal.

The deal is being seen as a move that will boost bilateral economic and security ties and facilitate leading US-based players to set up atomic plants in India.

The two countries had reached a broad agreement for cooperation in civil nuclear energy sector during Japanese Prime Minister Shiozo Abe's visit to India in December last year, but the deal was yet to be signed as some issues wereyet to be worked out.

Modi and Abe are set to sign the deal on Friday, Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday.

The deal would allow Japan to export nuclear technology to India, making it the first non-NPT signatory to have such adeal with Tokyo. It would also cement the bilateral economicand security ties as the two countries warm up to counter anassertive China

There was political resistance in Japan - the only country to suffer atomic bombings during World War II - against a nuclear deal with India, particularly after the disaster atthe Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market andan atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-basednuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up atomic plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.

According to the report, India and Japan are also likelyto agree that if New Delhi conducts a nuclear test, the bilateral cooperation will stop.

A delegation of Japanese parliamentarians had called on Modi on Thursday in New Delhi ahead of his visit from November11. That day, Modi also pitched for strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of disaster management and risk reduction. 

First Published: Monday, November 07, 2016 11:36 AM
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