New Delhi: India and Japan on Saturday wrapped up
the second round of talks for civilian atomic cooperation pact
that will pave the way for sale of advanced technology by
Japanese majors Hitachi and Mitsubishi.
The two-day talks, led by Joint Secretary (East Asia)
Gautam Bambawale of India and Special Representative Mitsuru
Kitano of Japan, focused on the contents of the agreement
which is aimed at forging cooperation between the two
countries in peaceful use of nuclear energy, sources said.
Significantly, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has
named India as one of the countries that must take active
steps to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, during his visit
to India sometime back, had expressed his country`s concern
over any test India may conduct in future and talked about an
exit clause in such a scenario.
The latest round of talks comes over three months after
the launch of parleys for civil nuclear cooperation and barely
days before Singh`s visit to Tokyo from October 24.
Though a great amount of progress is believed to have
been made on the draft contours of the pact, the sources
maintained there was no timeline to conclude the same.
The negotiations for the pact were launched on June 28
when officials of both the countries had met for the first
round in Tokyo.
The agreement will enable Japanese companies like
Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Toshiba, all having the advance civil
nuclear energy technologies, to set up projects in India
which, according to some estimates, has a market of nearly
USD 150 billion.
Major atomic power companies of the United States and
France, both of which already have a bilateral nuclear
cooperation treaty with India, have urged Tokyo to sign the
nuclear pact with New Delhi so that they can use Japanese
technology for building reactors in the country.
The other countries with which India has already
signed the civil nuclear deal included the US, France,
Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia.