New Delhi: Appreciating India`s track record
on non-proliferation front, Japan on Saturday expressed keenness to
conclude the civil nuclear agreement with it at the earliest
but made it clear that such a cooperation would be suspended
if New Delhi were to conduct an atomic test.
With one round of negotiations on the nuclear cooperation
already having been concluded, External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna and his Japanese counterpart Katsuya Okada discussed
the issue and agreed that discussions needed to be pushed
forward but set no timelines.
The two sides also decided to push their trade ties by
concluding an Economic Partnership Agreement before Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to Tokyo in October with the
Japanese side saying there is scope for 10-fold increase in
commerce which was to the tune of USD 12 billion in 2008-09.
At the fourth round of Strategic Dialogue, the two
countries also agreed to push efforts for UN reforms under the
format of G-4 grouping and in this regard decided to reach out
to 53-nation African continent whose support is vital.
Okada, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier in
the day, said he had flagged the need for having civil nuclear
cooperation, pushing economic ties and stepping up efforts for
After the Strategic Dialogue meeting, Krishna told a
joint press conference with Okada that, "We agreed that the
negotiations will continue quickly and that we will jointly
work towards a good agreement which will result in a win-win
situation for both India and Japan."
He said the two countries did "not intend to set a
time-line for the conclusion of such an agreement."
Okada also said the two sides intended to conclude the
agreement as soon as possible but no timelines had been fixed.
The negotiations for the nuclear agreement were initiated
in June when one round of talks was held in Tokyo.
Okada said the decision to launch negotiations for civil
nuclear cooperation agreement with India, which had not signed
NPT, was "possibly the toughest decision that I have taken as
Foreign Minister" in his 10-month tenure.
At the meeting, he said he had expressed "appreciation
for efforts" made by India in the field of nuclear
However, he noted that Japan was the only country to have
suffered a nuclear attack and the "philosophy of
non-proliferation" would have to reflect in the Agreement.
Okada said that while engaging India, Japan would not be
able to run contrary to its policy on non-proliferation.
"I don`t think we can suggest that India should refrain
from conducting a nuclear test but if such a thing were to
happen, Japan will have no option but to suspend cooperation,"
he said, adding this would have to be "built-in" in the
agreement through proper "wording" and "terminology".
Meanwhile, Prasad denied reports that the BJP has
reached any deal with the government over the Sohrabuddin case
with the centre.
Gujarat`s former minister of state Amit Shah was
recently arrested by the CBI in connection with the
Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, which involves police
personnel of three states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra
Responding to a query whether Narendra Modi would
campaign in the forthcoming elections in Bihar, he said the
campaign committee of the party would decide in the matter.