India-Japan nuclear deal win-win proposition: PM
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Last Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010, 00:32
  
Tokyo: Amid negotiations on a civil nuclear agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has batted for a win-win bilateral deal with Japan, citing huge opportunities offered by India's nuclear sector in which Japanese firms can become "partners" given their advanced capabilities.

Singh said the proposed pact would be a win-win proposition for both the countries besides helping in the global efforts to combat climate change.

The two sides have held two rounds of negotiations which have made progress and the next round is expected in November to take the discussions further.

"Developing countries like India seek new energy sources to sustain high rates of economic growth. We see nuclear energy as a vital component of our global energy mix," Singh told some Japanese journalists in Delhi ahead of his visit here which began today.

"Our nuclear industry is poised for a major expansion and there will be huge opportunities for the global nuclear industry to participate in the expansion of India's nuclear energy programme," he said.

"We would like Japan to be our partner in this initiative".

He said India was aware of the advanced capabilities of Japanese firms in the nuclear field and the important role they play in the global supply chain.

Referring to the proposed nuclear agreement with Japan, he expressed confidence that it would be completed but made it clear that there are no deadlines concluding these negotiations.

When pointed out that Japan was putting the condition that it will annul the nuclear cooperation if India goes for a nuclear test and whether it was agreeable to India, Singh refused to comment on specific details as the negotiations are still underway.

Singh, however, said both countries would benefit from an agreement that provides a long-term and stable basis of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

This, he said, will contribute towards our energy security requirements and will also help in the global efforts to combat climate change.

On India's refusal to sign NPT, Singh cited New Delhi's impeccable non-proliferation record which is recognised by the international community and said New Delhi is committed to maintaining unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.

"India has been steadfast in its support for global and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament in a time-bound framework," he said, adding "We are ready to work with Japan and other like minded countries in realising the vision of a nuclear weapon free world".

Sources said that interest for civil nuclear cooperation was first expressed by Japan, apparently because its companies are very keen.

India sees this as a crucial development considering that Japan, the only country to have witnessed a massive atomic attack, has been very sensitive on nuclear issue and New Delhi is not a signatory of NPT.

"Something that used to divide us earlier, now unites us," a source said while referring to the nuclear issue.

Japan had reacted very strongly when India conducted nuclear tests in 1998.

India feels that the progress on negotiations for the nuclear deal will be slow, given Japan's sensitivities.

PTI


First Published: Monday, October 25, 2010, 00:32


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