India-Japan nuclear deal win-win proposition: PM

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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