New Delhi: In a landmark development on Friday, India and Japan have agreed to put aside past differences on the nuclear issue, and will now work towards a civil-nuclear treaty with the establishment of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on civil-nuclear cooperation.
This key decision is said to have been finalized during a meeting between the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, Montek Singh Alhuwalia, and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. Masayuki Naoshima during the fourth ministerial-level meeting of the India-Japan Energy Dialogue here.
The Japanese industry is basically pushing its government to consider engaging India in nuclear trade, as companies from the United States, France and Russia seem to have already acquired a head start in terms of cornering Indian nuclear business.
The chairmen of leading Japanese companies like Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Hitachi, who are accompanying Minister Naoshima on his current visit to India, form the core-lobbying group, which is encouraging the Japanese Government to work out a civil nuclear deal with India.
During the dialogue, both Alhuwalia and Naoshima welcomed the progress made so far in Working Group discussions by Japanese and Indian officials on energy efficiency, renewable energy, coal and electricity, and power generation.
While welcoming India’s formal joining of the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) last year, both recognized that a viable and vibrant energy policy can contribute to addressing both energy requirements and reducing the negative impact of climate change.
It was agreed that the two countries would step up cooperation in the energy sector through concret and pragmatic projects.